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Home » Ears, Throat, Mouth, Teeth

Dry Mouth and Your Dental Health

[20 Dec 2010 | No Comments | 38 views | Author: Dee Braun, DrR, CA, CCT]
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Do you suffer from dry mouth? You may not have enough saliva, to keep your mouth moistened. It is not that uncommon to have dry mouth once in a while we all get nervous and have dry mouth, or we get upset and get dry mouth but some of us have dry mouth on a continual basis which can lead to dental health problems.

Saliva has an important role in our dental health care. Saliva helps to digest food, protects teeth from decay, and also can help control the bacteria in our mouth, which helps to prevent infection. Saliva also makes it easier to chew and to swallow.

Salivary glands are responsible for producing saliva and there are many reasons why these glands may not produce enough saliva including side effects from certain medications, and diseases such as diabetes, HIV/AIDS, Hodgkins, Parkinson’s disease or Sjogren’s syndrome. Other things can also cause dry mouth such as radiation therapy or chemotherapy used to treat cancer, menopause can bring about changes in hormonal levels which can affect the salivary glands, and smoking cigarettes, cigars or the pipe can lead to experiencing a smokers dry mouth.

Symptoms of dry mouth:

You will know that you have dry mouth if you experience a sticky, dry feeling in your mouth, have difficulty swallowing, have a burning sensation on your tongue, or a dry feeling in your throat, have cracked and dry lips, cannot taste things or have a metallic taste in your mouth, have frequent mouth sores, frequent bad breath or have difficulty speaking or chewing food.

Treatment options for dry mouth:

To treat dry mouth you first have to determine the cause of your dry mouth. If the cause is a medication you are taking your medical doctor may have a different medication you can take or the doctor may be able to adjust the dosage to prevent the drying. If the problem is because the salivary glands are not working properly your doctor may be able to prescribe a medication that will help the glands to perform better.

If the cause can not be determined or corrected the doctor may be able to help you to restore moisture to your mouth by recommending mouth moisturizers, special mouthwashes, or you can try some of the following tips for keeping your mouth moist:

Drink lots of water

Avoid drinks that contain caffeine like coffee, tea and sodas

Chew sugarless gum or suck on sugarless hard candy

Avoid using tobacco products and alcohol

Avoid salty or spicy foods when you mouth is dry to prevent mouth pain

A humidifier at night is beneficial for those with dry mouth

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Dry Mouth and Your Dental Health

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