You might not associate dry mouth with dental problems, but it can actually cause tooth decay, bad breath, sores, cracked lips, and problems chewing, tasting or swallowing. Saliva in your mouth prevents bacteria from building up and causing problems like tooth decay and and bad breath, but when it’s not there, these problems can easily develop. Read on for more information about dry mouth including causes, symptoms and treatment.
There are several potential reasons you may be experiencing dry mouth. Dry mouth is a common side effect of many medications. It’s also a side effect of some medical conditions, which are generally long term conditions such as diabetes. Those who have been treated with radiation in the head and neck areas for chemotherapy may also experience dry mouth as a result of damage to the salivary glands. Nerve damage to the head from an injury or surgery can also cause dry mouth.
The most common cause of dry mouth is simple dehydration as a result of illness. Excessive sweating due to intense physical activity can also cause dehydration and dry mouth. Tobacco users are also commonly affected by dry mouth.
It’s fairly easy to tell when you have a dry mouth. Your mouth, lips, throat and tongue will feel dry you may experience redness, burning, or cracking on your lips or tongue. Bad breath is another common symptom, as is a strong thirst. You may develop canker sores, and have problems tasting, chewing, and swallowing.
Rehydrating with water is sufficient to treat most cases of dry mouth. In cases that are caused by medications, ask your doctor if there are any alternatives or for a lower dose. If you breathe through your mouth, make a conscious effort to breathe more through your nose while keeping your mouth closed. Chewing gum can also help stimulate saliva production. For chronic dry mouth, your dentist may prescribe an oral rinse for you that helps maintain moisture in the mouth.
About Olney Dental
Olney Dental has been providing comprehensive dental care for residents of Olney and the surrounding area since 1985. We’re conveniently located on the campus of Montgomery General Hospital, and provide care for all ages for children to adults and seniors. We’re also independently owned by our dentists, which allows us be patient driven in our approach to dentistry. Your smiles make us smile! You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and YouTube.