Dry Mouth is a medical condition commonly known as “Xerostomia”, that affects the flow of saliva in your mouth. And you may not realise it, but saliva is essential for a healthy mouth. Saliva has proteins and enzymes that help break down food, swallow food and cleanse around your mouth and teeth. When the amount of saliva is reduced, it can cause your mouth to feel dry and cause food to stick to your teeth which can lead to a build-up of plaque. This increases your chances of getting cavities, bad breath, gum disease, tooth decay and other oral problems.
However, there’s no need to worry if you are experiencing a dry and uncomfortable mouth! Our dentists at Freedom Dental are here to help you understand more about dry mouth and what to do next if you have the condition.
Why Causes Dry Mouth?
Dry mouth can be a result of many different issues. Quite often though, it’s caused by the side-effect of medication. Common medications such as anti-anxiety, antidepressants, antihistamines, blood pressure medication, and decongestants all contribute to the problem. Typically, your pharmacist will inform you of this, and from there you can increase intake of fluids and other measures to avoid it.
This condition can also be caused by medical treatments such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery to the head or neck. And in some cases, dry mouth can be a direct result of a medical condition such as Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s Disease, hypertension, lupus and blocked salivary glands.
Other isolated instances can be caused by ageing, hormonal changes, dehydration and overconsumption of alcohol, tobacco and caffeine.
How Do I Know If I Have Dry Mouth Syndrome?
When it comes to dry mouth, there are several symptoms to look out for besides a dry mouth. So, if you find yourself not producing enough saliva, then you may experience the following signs or symptoms
- Dry or a burning sensation in your mouth
- Sticky or stringy saliva
- Sore throat
- Rough Or sticky tongue
- Difficulty chewing, drinking or speaking
- Changes to a sense of taste
- Bad Breath
- Oral Thrush
- Problems wearing dentures
If you have any of these symptoms mentioned, then it may be best to talk to our dental team about it.
What Can Relieve Dry Mouth?
There are several different ways of relieving symptoms of dry mouth. Some of which work better for others and vice versa. For some people, sipping on water or sucking on sugar-free lollies helps them in the short term. While for others, chewing sugar-free gum or reducing intake of caffeine or tobacco would help them more.
Ultimately, it depends on you and your situation. Nevertheless, if you are experiencing dry mouth syndrome, then try some of these methods to relieve symptoms:
- Avoiding or cutting down on tobacco, alcohol and caffeine
- Trying to breathe through your nose rather than your mouth
- Drinking fluids throughout the day
- Avoiding dry, crunchy foods and acidic drinks
- Chewing sugar-free gum
- Using Fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash
For some people, dry mouth syndrome could be solved by those methods mentioned above. However, for others, more steps might need to be taken to treat their dry mouth. If more steps are required, then it’s best to book an appointment at Freedom Dental.
At Freedom Dental, we will give you a complete oral health assessment and recommend the most effective treatments to help reverse the condition. We may also provide products such as specialised toothpaste, mouthwash, gels and prescribed medication that increases saliva flow. We will also help repair any infections that may have developed from the dry mouth syndrome.
To book an appointment for dry mouth issues and treatments, call our friendly and experienced team on 03 9828 3888.
Oral Health Foundation: https://www.dentalhealth.org/dry-mouth
Healthline Direct: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/dry-mouth-syndrome
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/den/231/oral-health-and-dental-care-in-australia/contents/summary