Dry mouth is a condition whereby the body doesn’t produce enough saliva to keep your mouth healthy. What saliva you do have can be thick and sticky. This can make things like eating or talking difficult and can cause discomfort. It’s a seemingly minor condition that can have far reaching consequences.
Symptoms of dry mouth include:
- Dryness in the mouth or throat
- Thicker saliva
- Difficult eating and swallowing
- Bad breath
- More frequent dental issues such as gum disease and tooth decay
- Cracked lips and mouth sores
Why dry mouth needs treatment
Dry mouth is not only uncomfortable, it can also lead to other medical complications. Saliva performs a vital role in your oral health. It regulates bacteria levels in the mouth, tackles acids from foods and that bacteria and helps keep your mouth clean. It also helps with eating and breathing. It’s only when something happens to it that you realize just how essential saliva is!
As a result of not having enough saliva, sufferers of dry mouth experience more bad breath, more gum disease, more tooth decay and plaque. As we know, all of these can affect both your oral health and overall wellbeing. As holistic dentists, Aesthetic Family Dentistry is concerned with all of these.
Difficulty in swallowing can also cause those with dry mouth to skip meals or not eat at all because of the discomfort. This compounds the issue by depriving the body of the essential nutrients necessary to produce the saliva and stay healthy.
How dentists can help with dry mouth
To effectively treat dry mouth, we have to identify the root cause. This can be a range of issues from age, smoking, drug use, any medication you’re taking or illnesses you’re suffering or anything in your medical history that could be causing it.
Another important aspect of visiting your dentist regarding dry mouth is the prevention of further complications. As mentioned, those who have dry mouth can also experience more gum disease, plaque, tooth decay and bad breath. We need to keep an eye on all of those and manage them while we address the root cause.
There are medications available to help stimulate saliva. There are also lifestyle changes you can make to help such as giving up smoking and drinking more water. You can also chew sugar-free gum and learn to breathe more through your nose than your mouth.
If you’re experiencing dry mouth, Aesthetic Family Dentistry can help. We have a range of fast, effective treatments available that can alleviate the symptoms and treat the cause. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!