It’s not unusual for your mouth to feel dry and cottony occasionally. But if you start to notice that your mouth feels dry all the time, or if you’re having trouble chewing, swallowing or even talking, you could have an actual condition called “dry mouth,” or xerostomia. Dry mouth is actually a common problem, but it shouldn’t be ignored.
Dry mouth needs attention and treatment
Along with feeling uncomfortable, chronic dry mouth can have a negative impact on health. You might be wondering why it seems like your breath is always bad, or why cavities have started to become a recurring problem. Both of these scenarios are also symptoms of dry mouth when it goes unmanaged. Left untreated, dry mouth can cause everything from decreased enjoyment of food to poor digestion and tooth decay.
The root cause of dry mouth
Dry mouth happens when your salivary glands don’t produce enough saliva, and most people have had a temporary bout of the problem. For example, temporary dry mouth can be caused by certain medications, illness, being dehydrated and even by certain foods and ingredients. Chronic dry mouth can be the result of immune system disorders, nerve damage to the salivary glands and aging. But no matter the reason, if you are experiencing dry mouth, you should see your dentist for a diagnosis and treatment plan. Call for an appointment today: (304) 754-8803.
Reducing or eliminating dry mouth
Your dentist will be able to recommend methods for treating your dry mouth symptoms, depending on your unique situation, which could include:
- A change of medications
- Use of artificial saliva
- Chewing sugarless gum or sucking on sugarless candies to stimulate salivary glands
- Sipping water throughout the day
- Breathing through your nose (Treat conditions that cause mouth breathing)
- Adding humidity to the air in your home
- Keeping lips lubricated
What you can do
Saliva cleans your mouth and bathes your teeth and gums to protect them. So if you have the condition, you should boost your dental hygiene by increasing your brushing and flossing. And be sure to visit your dentist at least twice a year.
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