Dry Mouth

Known by its medical term, Xerostomia. Dry mouth is when you do not have enough saliva to keep your mouth wet and moisturized.

How Do I Know if I Have Dry Mouth?

Everyone’s mouth feels dry from time to time. It is when this sensation never goes away that informs you that you may have a problem with saliva production.

Symptoms of dry mouth include:

  • A sticky, dry feeling in your mouth
  • Trouble swallowing
  • A burning sensation on your tongue
  • A dry feeling in your throat
  • Cracked lips
  • Reduced ability to taste things or a metallic taste in your mouth
  • Mouth sores
  • Frequent bad breath
  • Difficulty chewing/speaking

Causes

Dry mouth can occur when the glands in the mouth that make saliva are not working properly. Some common causes include:

  • Stress

Certain medications can cause side effects in the mouth. Dry mouth being the most common. Be sure to tell us about any medications that you’re taking, even medicines that you purchase without a prescription.

These are the types of medications that may cause dry mouth:

  1. Antihistamines
  2. Decongestants
  3. Pain Killers
  4. Diuretics
  5. High Blood Pressure Medications
  6. Antidepressants

Other medications may cause abnormal bleeding, inflamed tissues or ulcers, mouth burning, numbness or tingling, movement disorders and taste alteration. If you experience any of these symptoms, consult us or your GP.

  • Cancer therapy (radiation/chemotherapy)
  • Autoimmune disorders such as Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Smoking
  • Immune Disorders

How to stop the dry mouth

There are a number of steps you can take to help minimize dry mouth, including:

  1. Sipping water or sugarless drinks often and during meals
  2. Avoiding drinks with caffeine, such as coffee, tea and some sodas
  3. Chew sugarless gum or suck on sugarless hard sweets to stimulate saliva flow: citrus, cinnamon or mint-flavoured sweets are good choices
  4. Ask us for our recommendations about products for dry mouth.

Complications of Dry Mouth

If the dry mouth condition happens all or most of the time, it can be uncomfortable and may have serious consequences for your oral health. Drying irritates the soft tissues in the mouth, which can make them inflamed and more susceptible to infection. Without the cleansing effects of saliva, tooth decay and other oral health issues become much more common. It is important that you take good care of your teeth and gums. Brushing twice a day, flossing or using an interdental cleaner once a day to remove dental plaque and food debris from between the teeth where your toothbrush cannot reach.

Contact Surbiton Smile Centre today

Please get in touch if you are concerned about any aspect of your dental health. We will treat you fairly and honestly - and we look forward to being able to help you.

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