Wellness Tips | 01 August, 2018

Dry Mouth Syndrome - Causes and Treatment

When does Dry Mouth become a Serious Health Issue?

Dry mouth – we’ve all experienced it at some point, whether from being stressed, upset or even nervous. But when this ‘once in a while’ turns into most of the time, it’s time to address the issue before it leads to a more serious health problem.

So, what is dry mouth?

Dry mouth, also referred to as xerostomia or dry mouth syndrome, is a condition where the salivary glands in your mouth aren’t producing enough saliva to keep your mouth moist.

Saliva plays an important role; the enzymes in saliva aid in digestion making it easier to chew and swallow food and helps assist in washing away food particles in your mouth. It also increases the taste sensors and neutralizes acids produced by bacteria to help prevent tooth decay.

Dry mouth has been known to affect the health of your gums and teeth and may make you more susceptible to tooth decay and infections.

Signs and symptoms:

  • Dry, sticky feeling in the mouth, throat or tongue
  • Bad breath
  • Problems with speaking, chewing, swallowing or tasting
  • Dry cracked lips
  • Mouth sores
  • Significant increase in dental decay
  • Burning feeling in your mouth
  • Swollen salivary glands
  • Wearing dentures is a problem

What are the common causes of dry mouth?
If you are suffering from dry mouth there might be several contributing factors to take into consideration, including:

  • Stress
  • Nervousness
  • Autoimmune disorders like Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Some medications
  • Aging
  • Smoking
  • Cancer or radiation therapy
  • Methamphetamine use

Understanding what is causing you to suffer from dry mouth can help your dental healthcare professional determine what the best treatment option is.

Treatment for dry mouth

There are several oral care products available to assist in moistening the mouth, such as mousse, gels, mouth rinses and toothpastes. We encourage you to speak with your dental healthcare professional to identify the right solution for you.
If you are currently taking any medication, be sure to mention it during your consultation; as mentioned before, medication can be a contributing factor to dry mouth. In some cases, your GP or dental healthcare professional may request blood tests to ensure Autoimmune disorder isn’t the root cause of the condition.

Be proactive!
As it is often said, prevention is better than a cure. We’ve taken the time to provide a list of things you can be doing regularly to help reduce your likelihood of experiencing dry mouth.

  • Sip water frequently throughout the day, with and after meals
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine and soft drinks
  • Avoid spicy and salty foods
  • Avoid sugar and acidic foods
  • Chew sugar-free gum or lollies to assist with stimulating saliva flow
  • Quit smoking
  • Use a lip moisturizer
  • Use a humidifier at night
  • Use fluoride toothpastes, mousse, gels or mouth rinses as recommended by your dental healthcare professional
  • Maintain regular visits to the dentist for those all-important check-ups and cleans

Tried all the above and still experiencing dry mouth? Make sure to contact your local dental healthcare professional. You can find your nearest Maven Dental Group practice here.