Everyone has felt parched and experienced a fleeting moment of a cotton mouth, and that’s perfectly normal. However, if the condition persists, you’re likely experiencing dry mouth, also known as xerostomia. Your trusted team at Kraklow Quality Dentistry is here to help manage your symptoms to prevent damage to your teeth and gums. You can count on us for outstanding care and service!
What Is Dry Mouth and What Are Its Complications?
Dry mouth is a condition where the salivary glands don’t produce enough saliva to keep the mouth moist. That can be problematic because saliva helps prevent tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease by neutralizing the acids oral bacteria produce. Patients with dry mouth are at a higher risk of plaque accumulation, cavities, fungal infections (thrush), mouth sores, cracked lips, and bad breath (halitosis).
Saliva enhances the ability to taste different flavors and helps digestion by softening food and adding enzymes. Lack of saliva can result in difficulty chewing and swallowing, often leading to poor nutrition.
What Are the Causes of Dry Mouth?
Dry mouth is often a side effect of certain medications. It can also result from dehydration, the natural aging process, cancer therapy, nerve damage, tobacco use, alcohol consumption, snoring, and mouth breathing. Dry mouth is often caused by health conditions such as diabetes, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, or autoimmune diseases, such as Sjögren’s syndrome or HIV/AIDS.
What Are the Symptoms of Dry Mouth?
Symptoms of dry mouth include a sticky sensation in the mouth, bad breath, a dry or grooved tongue, cracked lips, changes in the sense of taste, a dry or sore throat, a hoarse voice, and thick and stringy saliva. Patients also report trouble speaking, chewing, and swallowing and difficulty wearing dentures.
How Is Dry Mouth Managed and Treated?
There are some things you can do to stimulate saliva production and keep your mouth hydrated. These include sipping on water throughout the day, sucking on sugar-free candy, chewing sugarless gum, and rinsing with mouthwash containing xylitol. It also helps to limit your caffeine and alcohol intake and refrain from smoking and tobacco use.
If your dry mouth persists, contact your trusted team at Kraklow Quality Dentistry for a consultation. We will evaluate your unique concerns and recommend treatment options to help with your dry mouth and prevent associated problems. These include medicated gel or artificial saliva to keep your mouth moist, fluoride treatment to strengthen your teeth and prevent cavities, and medicated mouth rinse to combat dry mouth and prevent tooth decay.
If we suspect that a medical condition or your medications are the cause of your dry mouth, we may refer you to your healthcare provider for an evaluation. The goal is to address the underlying causes of your condition to provide real, lasting relief.
Quality Dental Care Near Me
Visit Kraklow Quality Dentistry in Milwaukee, WI, to learn more about managing the symptoms of dry mouth. Dr. Kraklow and his team will work with you to prevent damage to your teeth and gums. We’re all about maintaining long-term healthy smiles. Call us and schedule your appointment today!