Dry Mouth: Causes and Treatment
By: General Dentist, Furqaan H. Siddiqui
Do you find yourself waking up with dry mouth? Aside from being uncomfortable, this could also negatively affect your dental health. Common symptoms include a dry, sticky feeling in the mouth, difficulty speaking or swallowing, bad breath, or dry and sore mouth.
What causes dry mouth?
There are many different causes of dry mouth but more commonly it can be the result of certain medications, aging, dehydration, or a result of radiation cancer treatment. Less commonly, dry mouth may be a result of a condition that affects the salivary glands.
Why is dry mouth a problem?
Saliva is important to your dental health as it helps to prevent tooth decay by washing away food. It also aids in your ability to eat and swallow and digest food. If you are not producing enough saliva, you may experience increased plaque, tooth decay, and gum disease. Other common complications include cracked lips, mouth sores, or a yeast infection in the mouth, otherwise known as thrush.
How to treat dry mouth?
Depending on your specific symptoms, there are different treatment options both your primary care provider and dentist can do. If your doctor believes your medication is the cause, they may adjust your dosage or change medication. They may also prescribe an oral rinse. Your dentist may provide treatment to help protect your teeth from decay and cavities such as fluoride trays.
Aside from doctor and dentist intervention, it is important to continue brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing every day, using fluoride toothpaste, and having routine cleanings with your dentist to check for signs of decay.
If you have concerns about your oral health or find you are experiencing dry mouth, call your dentist today to schedule an appointment.