Do you have a dry or burning feeling in your mouth?
If your mouth, throat or tongue feel dry and uncomfortable, you always feel thirsty and you have bad breath, you could have a condition called dry mouth syndrome (xerostomia).
As well as causing discomfort and preventing you from enjoying food, a dry mouth and throat condition can also promote the growth of bacteria in your mouth and increase your chances of getting tooth decay, gum disease and other oral health problems, so it’s important to get it checked out.
If you think you might have dry mouth syndrome, contact Freedom Dental to arrange an appointment with our experienced dentists in South Melbourne. We’ll ask you about your symptoms, give you a complete oral health assessment and recommend the most effective treatments or preventative measures to help reverse the condition.
What causes dry mouth?
Dry mouth syndrome happens when your mouth starts producing less saliva. This can make your mouth, throat and tongue feel dry, sticky or have a burning sensation, and you may feel frequently thirsty, even when you drink enough water.
Reduced saliva can have many possible causes, including:
- smoking or chewing tobacco
- a side-effect of medication or other drugs
- a side-effect of a medical condition or treatment
- dehydration caused by blood loss, fever and other health issues
- nerve damage to your head or neck.
When you make an appointment with our dentists, we’ll ask about your medical history and any lifestyle factors that could be causing your dry mouth. This information is essential for helping us plan an effective treatment.
Why does dry mouth need to be treated?
Dry mouth doesn’t just cause discomfort. Saliva is also important for helping to prevent oral health problems by washing away food particles and limiting bacterial growth.
A dry mouth can lead to multiple dental problems, including tooth decay, gum disease and infections such as oral thrush. It can also make wearing dentures more difficult.
How can dry mouth be prevented?
If we diagnose dry mouth syndrome, we’ll ask you some questions about your oral hygiene to determine whether simple preventative measures might help to reverse its effects. These can include:
- drinking plenty of fluids
- brushing your teeth after every meal
- flossing at least once a day
- rinsing your mouth with a fluoride mouthwash
- chewing sugar-free gum
- trying to breathe through your nose rather than your mouth
- avoiding smoking.
If your symptoms may be due to medication you’re taking or medical treatments you’re currently undergoing, we’ll advise you to speak to your doctor. They may be able to adjust your dose or provide alternative options that avoid these side-effects.
What are the treatment options?
If more than preventative steps are needed to treat your dry mouth, we can recommend treatment options based on what’s causing the condition. We may also prescribe medication that increases saliva flow.
If your dry mouth has caused an oral health problem such as tooth decay or gum disease, this will need to be treated as a priority to prevent damage to your teeth, gums and jaw. We’ll make sure you have all the information you need about what a treatment involves, its costs and any risks or side-effects it may have, so you can make a decision you’re happy with.
Book your free information session
To find out more about dry mouth treatments and other treatments and services we offer at Freedom Dental, you can schedule a complimentary information session at our dental spa. We’ll give you a tour of our clinic and answer all your questions, so you can decide whether you want to book an appointment. Click here for terms and conditions.