Every year, millions of people are affected by an oral condition popularly known as dry mouth. Dry mouth has been intensely covered in family dentistry to provide effective treatment options and ways to manage the condition. Xerostomia or dry mouth needs to be treated early in order to prevent bacterial infections that may cause serious periodontal disease. Most people don’t understand what causes dry mouth let alone how to deal with it. Here’s a chance for you to educate yourself about dry mouth and how to manage/treat it.
Common causes of dry mouth
There are people at higher risk of suffering from dry mouth due to different factors. These include:
Smoking: Dry mouth symptoms can significantly increase as a result of tobacco use. In fact, many smokers experience dry mouth symptoms and need to get treatment for it. In family dentistry, there are treatment approaches for dry mouth caused by excessive smoking.
Alcohol consumption: Excessive consumption of alcohol or other drinks like coffee can also result in dry mouth. This is because the body tends to get dehydrated and doesn’t produce an adequate amount of saliva.
Medications: There are some forms of treatments such as chemotherapy drugs that alter the way saliva is produced in the mouth. Other over the counter drugs also have dry mouth as a side effect. Common medicines that are known to cause dry mouth include those that are used to treat depression, nerve pain, and anxiety. Decongestants can also have this effect.
Aging: The aging process can result in dry mouth. This is because, for a start, older people are more likely to take lots of medication which have side effects of dry mouth. Furthermore, seniors are more prone to conditions that can cause dry mouth.
Nerve damage: Dry mouth can be as a result of an injury or damage to the nerves. This is especially the case when the nerve damage is experienced on the head or neck regions.
Salivary gland diseases
Other factors: There are other conditions that make one more susceptible to dry mouth including stroke, Alzheimer’s and HIV/AIDS.
Snoring: Snoring can also result in the dry mouth because you often end up breathing with the mouth open contributing to the dryness. Visit your family dentis Richmond Hill for an evaluation should you suspect that you have sleep apnea.
What to do if you suspect dry mouth
It is important to visit a dentist who will help you address this situation. Clearly explain the symptoms that you are experiencing on your appointment. Make sure you provide your personal information such as recent life changes that could have resulted in stress or anxiety as well as any habits you’ve picked up recently that may contribute to dry mouth.
Treatments for dry mouth
- A change in medication: If the doctor believes that the dry mouth is as a result of the medication you are consuming he may recommend you switch to an alternative without this side effect.
- Over the counter products that help to moisturize the mouth. This may include the mouth rinses as well as prescription drugs.
- Medication: The doctor may give medication that works by stimulating saliva production such as pilocarpine.
You may also want to consider some lifestyle and home remedies like stopping alcohol consumption, reducing coffee intake and quitting tobacco smoking.
Learn more about Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Health from Richmond Hill Dentists