Does your mouth feel dry and sticky when you first wake up in the morning? Do you feel the urge to drink lots of water? Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is a condition which slows or prevents saliva production. It can make it hard for you to swallow, chew your food or speak clearly. Dry mouth can contribute to tooth decay, causing it to progress very quickly. Untreated, dry mouth can also contribute to bad breath.
WHAT CAUSES DRY MOUTH?
Dry mouth (xerostomia) can be caused by the medicine you take, both prescription and over-the-counter. Don't stop taking your medication, but mention dry mouth to your physician or dentist. Dry mouth can also be a sign of diseases and other conditions like diabetes - so make sure you tell your medical or dental professional about dry mouth if it becomes a problem for you.
DRY MOUTH SYMPTOMS:
Risk factors for dry mouth include:
QUESTIONS ABOUT DRY MOUTH - ANSWER YES OR NO:
If you responded "yes" to one or more questions, talk to your physician/nurse and visit your dentist/dental hygienist for information on dry mouth and oral health.
DRY MOUTH TREATMENT AND CARE TIPS:
Visit your dentist to develop a comprehensive plan for dry mouth treatment and management. This plan may include more frequent trips to the dentist.
In-office dental treatment for dry mouth and its related problems may include topical fluoride treatments, prescription home fluoride, antibacterial/antifungal mouthwashes or other products including Xylitol gum. Diagnostic x-rays may need to be taken more frequently to monitor dental decay. Home-care instructions should be customized according to patient needs.
If you have a persistent dry mouth, you may be at greater risk for fungal or viral infections in your mouth. These ulcerations may also develop from trauma caused by friction of oral tissues against denture clasps, appliances or edges of worn or defective dental restorations.
There are many medications available for use in treating common infections associated with dry mouth.
For more information on dry mouth, talk to your dental team.