Have you ever heard of “cottonmouth?” That feeling when your mouth is so dry that it seems as though nothing you do is providing relief?
The drying sensation makes you genuinely feel as though you are chewing on cotton. The truth is, all of us can feel like our mouths are dry from time to time. Dry mouth is not a brief moment of dryness, but can be an ongoing oral problem if not tended to correctly.
Dr. Silverman and the staff at Advanced Cosmetic & Family Dentistry are well aware of the challenges dry mouth, or dry mouth syndrome, can cause.
Review the following information to help identify what dry mouth is, what symptoms could present themselves, and the best way to treat it. Our dental team is here for you and we want you to experience the highest quality of care.
Symptoms of dry mouth
The true name of dry mouth is “xerostomia.” When someone is suffering from dry mouth, the mouth struggles, or is unable to, produce enough saliva or spit.
This can be brought on by stress or medication could be perpetuating lessened saliva production and opening your mouth up to potential issues.
Saliva is key in providing protection for your teeth and gums…
Saliva is able to serve as a barrier against tooth decay and also supports the mouth’s soft tissue. This liquid helps flush away remaining food particles and debris, can keep bacteria from forming, and also neutralizes acid.
Who knew that saliva was this important!
When this barrier is taken away, the following dry mouth symptoms can present themselves:
Hoarse throat and difficulty speaking
Ongoing sore throat
Burning feeling in the mouth
Dry nasal passages
What causes dry mouth?
Chronic snoring (open-mouthed)
Reactions to medicine (prescription medicines, OTC remedies, blood pressure medicines, antidepressants, antihistamines, etc.)
Reaction to chemotherapy, radiation, or cancer-fighting medicines
You are your best advocate when it comes to your health. Monitor and record any issues that seem to become persistent over time.
If dry mouth doesn’t go away after a day or so, you may need to include your doctor or dentist to search for any other underlying issues or causes that could be impeding the health of your mouth.
You want to make sure you get ahead of the potential tooth decay and infection that can occur from chronic dry mouth. While it may be tempting for you to wait it out, your health is worth getting the advice of your doctor.
Available dry mouth treatments & how to prevent dry mouth
There are times when the benefits of a medicine or treatment can outweigh the issues that come with dry mouth. Your doctor or dentist will be able to identify that for you.
However, there are a few things you can do to help ease the discomfort of dry mouth.
Limit salty or spicy foods
Chew on sugar-free gum (this will help stimulate saliva)
Drink plenty of water
Add a humidifier in your room while you sleep at night
Inquire about saliva substitutes and how they could help
The treatments for dry mouth will vary patient to patient. No two mouths are the same! There are a number of oral rinses, oral moisturizers, and they may consider prescribing you an artificial saliva. An artificial saliva can help in the short-term to deal with chronic dry mouth, but this is not a cure.
If severe enough, there also may be a prescription drug that will help ease these symptoms. We recommend bringing any questions or concerns to your medical provider.
Contact our office today!
Dr. Silverman does not want you to continue suffering with dry mouth when there are a number of options available to treat this issue.
During your appointment we will talk through the different treatment options and work together to arrive at a plan that will provide relief and comfort.
Don’t put off receiving help from your dentist! We are simply another tool in your toolbox and we are happy to help. We look forward to partnering with you in your oral health and taking care of you and your family soon.