21 Jul Dry Mouth Symptoms, Causes & Treatment
Dry Mouth Symptoms, Causes & Treatment
Do you suffer from dry mouth? Dry mouth, or Xerostomia, can lead to an uncomfortable sensation in the mouth and impact our oral health.
So, what are the causes of dry mouth and how can you treat it? Read on to find out.
What Is Dry Mouth or Xerostomia?
Dry mouth, or Xerostomia, is a condition usually caused by low saliva production or due to a change in the composition of saliva. Some may experience dry mouth at night, or consistently throughout the day.
Saliva plays a key role in our body, therefore low production of saliva can cause various medical complications. Saliva helps to:
- Moisten and clean our mouth
- Chew and digest food
- Prevents infection by controlling bacteria
- Fights tooth decay by neutralising acids
When we don’t have enough saliva, the mouth can become dry and uncomfortable.
Dry Mouth Symptoms
Common dry mouth symptoms are:
- Low saliva production
- Frequent thirst or dehydration
- Dryness in the mouth or throat
- Thick and stringy saliva
- Bad breath
- Problems tasting and chewing
- Trouble swallowing
- Red, raw tongue
- Dry lips
- Cracks or sores at the corner of the mouth
If left untreated, dry mouth can lead to other complications such as tooth decay, gum disease, plaque collection, mouth sores and poor nutrition caused by improper chewing.
What Causes Dry Mouth?
In some cases, there is no single identifiable cause for dry mouth. Dry mouth is often a symptom of an external problem, rather than an actual disease.
Dry mouth may be caused by:
- Smoking or vaping
- Alcohol or drug consumption
- Certain medications or medical treatments
- Breathing through the mouth
- Poor general health
- Diseases or infections
- Hypo-function of salivary glands
What Is the Best Treatment for Dry Mouth?
There is no specific treatment for dry mouth. Dry mouth treatment will depend on the cause of the issue. Most treatment will be preventative of the root cause. However, there are a few tips to stimulate saliva production to treat your dry mouth:
- Consistent rehydration
- Sucking on sugar-free candy or ice pop
- Chewing sugar-free gum
- Using an oral moisturiser or saliva substitute
- Using non-alcoholic mouthwashes
- Avoid foods and beverages with high salt or sugar content
- Avoid alcohol, smoking and caffeine
What Foods Help with Dry Mouth?
Certain foods can help to stimulate saliva production. The best foods to consume for dry mouth are chewing gum, sucking on ice chips or popsicles and soft foods that are easy to chew and swallow (such as scrambled eggs, ice cream and soups). It’s important to avoid dry or salty foods. Lastly, be sure to drink at least 8-10 cups of water per day.
Prevent Tooth Decay from Dry Mouth
Saliva is an important factor in your oral health. If you suffer from dry mouth, it’s vital to protect the health of your teeth and gums. You can do so by brushing with fluoride toothpaste, using a fluoride rinse or gel and visiting your dentist a minimum twice a year.
Treat Your Dry Mouth Today
Be sure to chat with your dentist about your dry mouth. The friendly team at Brisbane Smiles can provide expert advice and provide gentle cleans to prevent tooth decay and detect potential oral health issues early on.
Don’t put off treating your dry mouth, get in touch today.