Waking up in the morning with dry mouth is like waking up in the Sahara Desert. Those who experience dry mouth understand that regardless of whether or not the above reference is an exaggeration, dry mouth is something very easily detectable. So, what exactly is the cause of this ‘mouth drought?’ Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, is a condition in which the salivary glands do not function properly and do not produce enough saliva. In some cases where saliva is present, it is often sticky or thick in consistency.
The condition alone is not serious, however, it may be an underlying symptom of a more serious condition. Certain types of medications are known to be possible causes of dry mouth. In more extreme cases, dry mouth may be caused by a condition that affects the salivary glands.
A visit with one of our specialists here at Advanced Periodontics & Implant Dentistry is important in detecting the main cause of your dry mouth and ensuring that the cause is harmless to your health. Upon evaluation, we can inform you of the treatment options we have available to alleviate your constant dry mouth.
The Importance Of Saliva
Saliva plays an important role in maintaining a healthy mouth, a regulated digestion, and much more. Saliva is a liquid produced from salivary glands in the mouth that contain water, mucus, minerals, and amylase — all of which combine to serve as a digestive enzyme.
One of the most important roles of this combined substance is its prevention of infection in the mouth by controlling bacteria. There are antimicrobial particles in saliva that help eradicate bacteria. As saliva moves around in your mouth, it breaks down and washes away food particles that can cause future tooth decay. Saliva also contains certain minerals that help restore tooth enamel. These minerals encourage the neutralization of acids in the mouth during and after eating that are harmful to the tooth enamel.
What Are The Symptoms Of Dry Mouth?
If you notice you have a dry mouth and do not produce enough saliva, you may experience the following symptoms:
- Dryness in the mouth or throat
- Sticky saliva
- Bad breath
- Cracked lips or cuts in the corners of the mouth
- Dry nasal passages
- Mouth sores
What Causes Dry Mouth?
Dry mouth is due to an insufficient amount of produced saliva. Saliva has many purposes and is a very important substance when it comes to your oral health. It helps you taste the foods you eat and digest them properly. It also acts as a lubricant, protecting the soft tissues from constant friction that occurs in the mouth. Causes of dry mouth include:
- Chronic mouth breathing
- Frequent alcohol and tobacco use
- Certain medications
- Nerve damage in the mouth due to trauma can decrease the production of saliva
- Natural aging
- Stress or anxiety
- Radiation therapy
Tips To Help Ease Dry Mouth
If you suffer from dry mouth, here are some helpful tips to help ease the constant dryness:
- Be sure to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water throughout the day. Dehydration can cause a reduction in saliva production.
- Practice good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing your teeth daily.
- Avoid consuming any salty, spicy, or sugary foods.
- Chew on sugar-free gum or mints to help with the production of saliva.
- Visit the dentist for regular checkups and cleanings.
If you notice your dry mouth is persistent, it may be time to seek treatment by a professional.
Advanced Periodontics & Implant Dentistry Is Here To Help!
If you have noticed persistent dry mouth, our specialists here at Advanced Periodontics & Implant Dentistry can help! A correct diagnosis can help relieve sufferers of dry mouth, or xerostomia. Individuals who suffer from dry mouth can experience tooth decay, bad breath, and difficulty speaking, chewing, or swallowing.
Our specialists can recommend oral rinses or prescribe artificial saliva. Artificial saliva comes in several forms including rinses, toothpaste, sprays, gels, or tablets that dissolve in the mouth. Although this is not a cure for dry mouth, artificial saliva helps reduce discomfort and the symptoms of dry mouth.
If you’re looking to relieve yourself from your dry mouth, consult with one of our professionals and call (212) 581-1090.