Saliva helps to prevent tooth decay by neutralising the acids produced by bacteria, limiting bacterial growth, and washing away food particles.
People who suffer from a dry mouth generally experience a much higher rate of decay.
Saliva also enhances your ability to taste and makes it easier to chew and swallow. Finally, enzymes in saliva help in digestion.
When produced in insufficient amounts, the lack of saliva can cause dry mouth syndrome, or xerostomia.
In this condition, the salivary glands don’t produce enough saliva to moisten your mouth.
Decreased saliva production and dry mouth can range from being merely a nuisance to something that has a major impact on your overall and oral health, as well as your appetite and enjoyment of food.
Causes of Dry Mouth
Dry mouth is caused by salivary glands producing inadequate amounts of saliva. The salivary glands may not work well because of:
A number of over-the-counter drugs produce dry mouth as side effect.
Some drugs used to manage depression, high blood pressure and anxiety, and also some antihistamines, decongestants, muscle relaxants, and pain medications are the types that cause problems.
Older people are more likely to have dry mouth. The use of certain medications, changes in the body’s ability to process medication, unhealthy meals, and long-term health problems, contribute to its development.
Fever, excessive sweating, vomiting, diarrhea, blood loss, and burns can cause dry mouth.
Smoking or chewing tobacco can affect the amount of saliva you produce and worsen dry mouth. Breathing through your mouth can also contribute to the problem.
Diseases and infections
Medical conditions like Sjögren’s syndrome, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, anaemia, cystic fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and mumps can cause dry mouth.
Sign and Symptoms of Dry Mouth
If your salivary glands don’t produce enough saliva, you may notice these signs and symptoms all or most of the time:
- Dryness or stickiness in the mouth
- Thick and stringy saliva
- Smelly breath
- Difficulty in chewing, speaking, and swallowing
- Sore throat and hoarseness of the voice
- Grooved tongue
- Changed sense of taste
- Denture-wearing problems
Dry Mouth Prevention
A dry mouth is common and can usually be prevented. Try some of the following prevention measures:
- Drink lots of water a day.
- Place a humidifier in your home, especially in your bedroom.
- Breathe through your nose, not through your mouth.
- Don’t take medicines that can cause a dry mouth, including diuretics, antihistamines, and decongestants. Your North Lakes dentist can work with your physician to help you find a different medicine.
- Limit drinking caffeinated beverages, tobacco, and alcohol, all of which increase dryness in your mouth.
Dry Mouth Prevention at Passion Family Dental North Lakes
If dental issues are causing dry mouth, and they are in most cases, your North Lakes dentist can start treating the cause of the problem with dental services available in our clinic.
If your dry mouth causes pain, you may need additional treatment. Discuss your options with your North Lakes dentist at your dental appointment.
Our Promotion for New Patients
Professional Check-up and Clean for only $178*
If you want to schedule an appointment with your North Lakes dentist, call us at (07) 3465 1199.
We are located at Unit 4/6 Endeavour Boulevard in North Lakes.