Look Carefully at Dry Mouth: Causes and Treatment
For many people, dry mouth is an annoying side effect that accompanies medical conditions and certain medication. For others, persistent dry mouth could be the result of issues with the saliva glands’ production. While dry mouth is often a side effect of lifestyle choices, medical conditions, and medications, it can have negative effects on one’s oral health. In dentistry, the clinical term for dry mouth is “xerostomia” and there are ways to alleviate one’s discomfort and improve symptoms.
Causes of Dry Mouth
Lifestyle factors like tobacco use and alcohol consumption can lead to drying of the mouth. Common over-the-counter and prescription medications like anti-depressants and anti-histamines also dry the mouth. A myriad of health conditions including diabetes affect saliva production as well. Since an array of issues can lead to dry mouth, our team will ask a series of questions at your appointment to help narrow down potential causes. Once the cause is known, it is much easier to treat the symptoms and effects of xerostomia.
Dry Mouth and Your Oral Health
Dry mouth is a concern for those who work in the dentistry industry. This is because healthy saliva production is imperative for oral tissue to remain moist and for the mouth to maintain a healthy pH level. Saliva helps rinse away debris and particles from leftover bits of food. It is also a natural diluting agent for acid. Since acid can weaken and soften teeth, oral moisture is important for preventing tooth decay. Dryness will also irritate gum tissue and can increase one’s risk for developing gum disease.
Remedies and Treatment for Dry Mouth
When it comes to lifestyle choices affecting the mouth’s moisture, our practice may recommend that patients abstain from alcohol and tobacco consumption. If necessary medication or diseases are contributing to xerostomia, it is important that patients mitigate their symptoms by staying hydrated and avoiding foods that contain high amounts of sodium. It is also essential that patients practice proper oral hygiene to prevent gum disease and tooth decay. In some cases, we may prescribe mouth rinses that help keep oral tissue moist.
To learn more about our oral surgery and dentistry services, call us today to reserve an appointment at Charlottesville Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center.