Severe dry mouth is more than just uncomfortable. Xerostomia is a condition that can put patients at risk of developing oral health problems including tooth decay and periodontal disease. Saliva in the mouth is essential for washing away food partials, controlling the level of bacteria in the oral cavity, and for neutralizing acids that can contribute to the development of cavities. Without enough saliva, the mouth can become extremely dry and put patients at risk of a variety of problems including infection, bad breath, and sore throats. Patients who have been diagnosed with conditions such as chronic dry mouth will need to find ways to keep the mouth moist and fully functioning!
What causes dry mouth?
There are several reasons why a patient might develop dry mouth. Random cases of dry mouth may be caused by temporary issues such as being nervous or dehydrated. However, chronic dry mouth may be a result of a certain medication that might be contributing to its development or malfunction of the saliva glands.
Ways to combat dry mouth
Patients with chronic dry mouth may want to consider some of the following recommendations to maintain moisture in the mouth and maintain a healthy smile:
- Drink enough water to stay hydrated, and have it available to drink through the day
- Keep saliva flow stimulated by sucking on sugar-free candies or chewing sugar-free gums
- Utilize an over-the-counter or prescription strength saliva spray
- Reduce mouth breathing and focus more on breathing through the nose
- Reduce consumption of beverages that can cause dehydration, including alcohol and caffeine
- Avoid smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco
- Consider certain toothpastes that can be used to strengthen tooth enamel to counteract dry mouth
- Utilize a humidifier in the home, especially in the bedroom each night
- Maintain good oral health habits, and visit the dentist regularly for evaluations and cleanings
Do you struggle with chronic dry mouth?
Now is the time to connect with Dr. Chong Lee and his team at Galleria Dental Aesthetics to learn more about xerostomia and effective treatment options. Call (703) 448-1020 to request an appointment and discuss the advantages of combating dry mouth. The office is located at 1600 Tysons Boulevard, Ste. 120 and accepts new patients.