Dry mouth is a condition that is quite common, and happens when saliva produced is decreased by the salivary glands in the mouth. Since saliva helps prevent tooth decay by neutralizing acids produced by bacteria and by limiting bacterial growth, it is essential to good oral health. It also washes away food particles and helps you to swallow. In addition to enhancing your ability to taste, it also helps your digestion.
Dry Mouth Symptoms:
–Thick or stringy saliva
–Dryness in the mouth and throat
–An unusual sense of taste
–Having a hard time chewing, talking or swallowing
–Difficulty wearing dentures
–More tooth decay
–Irritated gums or gum disease
If you have dry mouth, there are things you can do to alleviate it. To stimulate saliva flow, try chewing sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free hard candies. It can also help to cut back on caffeine, as its diuretic affects contribute to dry mouth. Alcohol also is drying so avoid alcohol-based mouthwashes, opting for a mouthwash designed for dry mouth like Biotene Dry Mouth Oral Rinse or ACT Total Care Dry Mouth Rinse. Chewing or smoking tobacco causes dry mouth (yet another good reason to cut back or stop). If you are using over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants these can worsen your symptoms. Sipping water frequently during the day helps, as does using a room air humidifier while you sleep (especially if you breathe through your mouth).
If these steps don’t help with your dry mouth, see Dr. Berkowitz to rule out other possible causes. Medications are common culprits causing dry mouth. Long-term relief from your dry mouth may mean addressing an underlying health issue, stopping or changing your medication or altering the dosage. If you have any questions or concerns, give our Trinity Dental team a call at 864-642-4630 today!