Experiencing Dry Mouth Symptoms?
Persistent dry mouth issues can be a sign of Xerostomia, a condition where the saliva glands aren’t producing enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. Fortunately, you can visit our dental office for proper diagnosis and treatment to restore your mouth to health.
Dental Smiles of Willow Glen can treat Xerostomia
Almost everyone has had a moment in their life where they felt thirsty. However, xerostomia, the condition known as dry mouth, is much more serious. Dry mouth occurs when the salivary glands in your mouth don’t produce enough saliva to keep your mouth moist. These glands help you digest food and reduce the amount of acids in your mouth.
Plus, Xerostomia can do more than make your mouth dry—it can make your teeth more likely to decay if you don’t get treatment.
What causes dry mouth?
Dry mouth can occur due to a variety of sources:
- Aging: In general, the older you are, the more likely you are to experience dry mouth. Aging contributes to dry mouth due to natural changes in the body. However, health issues and diet can also affect dry mouth in an aging individual.
- Infections: Dry mouth may be a side effect of another disease. For example, diabetes, mumps, Alzheimer’s and other health issues can contribute to dry mouth symptoms.
- Medications: If you’ve ever looked at the back of an over-the-counter medication, odds are you have seen dry mouth listed as a side effect. In general, most medications can contribute to dry mouth. This includes prescription and non-prescription blood pressure medication, muscle relaxers, pain medication and other medications.
- Alcohol and Cigarette Use: Both cigarettes and alcohol can cause dry mouth. This includes any type of alcohol and chewing tobacco.
- Cancer Treatment: If you’re undergoing chemo or radiation therapy for cancer, experiencing dry mouth is a very common side effect because these treatments cause the saliva to thicken.
How do you get rid of dry mouth?
If you’ve experienced dry mouth, then you know how uncomfortable and frustrating it can be. In fact, symptoms of dry mouth can often impact your daily routine.
For example, dry mouth causes your breath to smell bad due to increased tooth decay, causing potentially awkward social encounters. You also might have more serious issues, such as having problems speaking or frequently experiencing gum disease. Ultimately, the best way to get rid of xerostomia is to contact our San Jose dry mouth dentist, Dr. Raymond Lim, DDS.
How to prevent or control dry mouth:
- Diet: Sugars can dry your mouth quickly. So it’s best to minimize your sugar intake by avoiding sweet and carbonated drinks, like soda. Additionally, you should avoid red meat and salty, dry foods; instead, try to eat soft meals that are high in protein.
- Humidifier: The moisture in the air can contribute to dry mouth side effects. If you do not own a humidifier, purchasing one can often help reduce the side effects of xerostomia.
- Avoid Mouthwash: Most mouthwashes contain alcohol. Since alcohol dries your mouth, you should avoid any alcohol-based mouthwash if you are experiencing xerostomia side effects. Instead look for a mouthwash with a saliva substitute known as “carboxymethyl cellulose”, which is alcohol free.
- Breathing Exercises: Breathing through your mouth dries your throat more than breathing through your nose. If you prefer to breathe through your mouth, breathing exercises can help reduce dry mouth symptoms.
- FDA Approved Dry Mouth Appliance: Dental Smiles of Willow Glen is an accepted provider for the only FDA-approved oral appliance to stimulate the salivary glands called the Saliwell Medical Device. The devise is able to increase salivary production to make your mouth less dry. Contact Dr. Raymond W. Lim for more information on whether this device is a good fit for you.
- Xylimelt Dry Mouth Discs from OraCoat: These are over-the-counter oral adhering discs that stick to your soft tissue inside your mouth to relieve persistent dry mouth by stimulating saliva production.
If you’re experiencing dry mouth—or Xerostomia—symptoms such as bad breath, or difficulty eating or drinking, call Dr. Lim, your San Jose dry mouth dentist, today. These symptoms can often be resolved with proper treatment.
To schedule an appointment, contact us online or call our San Jose, California dental office at (408) 978-1888.
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