Dry Mouth (Xerostomia) Care
Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is a common dental concern, especially among people over the age of 50. Dry mouth may be caused by a number of factors, including medications and illness, disease, nerve damage, and chemotherapy or other radiation therapy.
While a dry mouth may not seem like a big deal, the saliva in your mouth plays an important role in your oral health and overall wellness. It works to protect your tooth enamel from harmful bacteria, breaks down food particles to promote good digestion, and makes it possible for you to chew and swallow. A lack of saliva increases your risk of developing tooth decay and may prevent you from getting the nutrients you need.
Symptoms of dry mouth include:
- Dry, sticky feelings in the mouth and throat
- Difficulty in chewing, swallowing or tasting
- A burning feeling in the mouth
- Cracked lips
- A dry, rough tongue
- Infection in the mouth
- Persistent halitosis (bad breath)
Our dentist will work with you to determine the cause of your dry mouth and provide an appropriate treatment. In the meantime, we recommend that you:
- Sip water or sugarless drinks frequently, especially during meals
- Avoid drinks containing caffeine
- Chew sugarless gum or suck on sugarless candy to stimulate saliva flow
- Do not use tobacco products or drink alcohol
- Use a humidifier at night
- Take special care to keep your mouth healthy (brush and floss regularly, and keep all your regular dental appointments)
For more information about dry mouth and to schedule your appointment with our dentist, please contact our office today.