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What Is Dry Mouth?

Posted on 2/2/2024 by Dr. Darren Huddleston
Man checking the smell of his breath using his hand.A dry mouth occurs when the salivary glands produce less saliva, leading to a lack of moisture in the mouth. This leads to various discomforts and potential oral health issues.

Effects of Dry Mouth

Saliva neutralizes acids, preventing tooth decay and aiding digestion. Individuals with decreased saliva production may experience increased risks of gum disease, plaque buildup, and tooth decay. It is common for individuals to experience painful mouth sores or a yeast infection, leading to discomfort and irritation. These conditions can make eating, chewing, and swallowing difficult, leading to poor nutrition.

Causes Of Dry Mouth

There are various reasons that can cause dry mouth. Medications are a frequent culprit, as certain drugs can interfere with salivary gland function. Additionally, medical conditions such as diabetes, Sjogrens syndrome, and anxiety disorders may be associated with dry mouth. Lifestyle factors, like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, can also contribute to this condition.

Managing Dry Mouth

Staying well-hydrated by sipping water throughout the day can help alleviate dryness. Additionally, you can stimulate saliva production by sucking on sugar-free candies or chewing sugar-free gum. Also, you can use a humidifier to add moisture to the air. This can help your mouth stay healthy.

When To See Your Dentist

If you have dry mouth symptoms, promptly consult a doctor or dentist. Schedule an appointment for persistent symptoms like dry mouth, thick saliva, mouth sores, altered sense of taste, or bad breath.

If you have a dry mouth, your doctor can find out if it is due to medications or an underlying condition. They can perform tests and suggest treatments. Additionally, visiting your dentist if you have been experiencing prolonged dry mouth is essential to assess for potential signs of tooth decay.

Having a dry mouth can be an unpleasant experience and can also harm your oral health. Identify the causes and manage them effectively. Consult our dentist for personalized solutions if the condition persists.
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