Dry mouth, which is also known as xerostomia, is a condition that occurs when your salivary glands aren’t producing enough saliva in your mouth. It is quite the pesky and uncomfortable oral condition. When you are suffering from this condition your mouth will likely feel dry and parched. Other more complicated symptoms can occur because of dry mouth, which includes cracked and bleeding lips, mouth sores, and rough tongue.
Saliva is quite important to our mouths and bodies, even as it carries a significant role in our digestive processes. The saliva works with our teeth as they chew and helps to break down the food particles while they are still in our mouths. It is important that this food is properly broken down in the mouth before going down the esophagus to the stomach for further digestion. Your dentist in Las Colinas will stress the importance of adequate saliva production in your mouth as it helps to protect the enamel on your teeth from decay as well as your gums from gum disease.
What are the symptoms of dry mouth?
If you are experiencing dry mouth you will likely be experiencing at least one or more of the following symptoms:
- Dryness of the mouth
- Frequent thirst or feeling of being parched
- A feeling of stickiness in the mouth
- Saliva that feels thick and stringy
- Bad breath
- A dry or sore throat
- Difficult chewing, speaking and swallowing
- Dry, red, swollen, or grooved tongue
- A change in taste sensation
- Dry nasal passages
- Burning or tingling sensation in the mouth and on the tongue
- Cracked lips, split skin in the corners of the mouth
- Sores in mouth
What can cause dry mouth?
There are various factors that can cause dry mouth. It most often occurs from dehydration. There are also other conditions and diseases that dry mouth is a symptom of itself, commonly diabetes. You may also experience dry mouth as a side effect of various medications and supplements, particularly appetite suppressants and chemotherapy drugs.
Other factors that can contribute to the symptoms of dry mouth include:
- Stress and anxiety
- Smoking tobacco
- The use of marijuana
- Taking tranquilizers
- Radiation therapy (on head or neck)
- Certain autoimmune disorders (rheumatoid arthritis or Sjogren’s syndrome)
- Botulism poisoning
- Natural aging
How can dry mouth be treated?
Dry mouth can be quite uncomfortable to live with. Luckily it is a very temporary condition that is highly treatable. However, if your dry mouth persists for an extended period of time and after trying these at home treatments you may want to speak to your Las Colinas dentist about it. The steps that you can take at home to help relieve your symptoms of dry mouth include:
- Staying hydrated and drinking water often
- Avoiding diuretics
- Avoiding alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco
- Watching your salt and sugar intake
- Taking over-the-counter saliva substitutes
- Chewing sugarless gum
- Sucking on sugarless hard candy
- Sucking on ice cubes (do not chew ice as it can damage the enamel on your teeth)
- Certain toothpaste and mouthwashes made for dry mouth
- Using a humidifier in your room
If you are looking for a trusted and highly recommended dentist office in Las Colinas, here at Cosmetic and Family Dentistry we can help. For any questions or to schedule an appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.