On hot days or after heavy exercise, anyone may experience a parched, sandpapery feeling in the mouth. But if this is a chronic sensation, you are likely suffering from dry mouth, or xerostomia. At Lakewood Dental Group, Drs. Shaun Sigurdson and Mihir Patel offer effective dry mouth treatment, including diagnosis, medications, and guidance for at-home remedies. Plus, since dry mouth can increase your risk for decay, they will provide preventive services to minimize damage to your teeth.
Don’t let your dry mouth go untreated. Contact your Dallas dentists to ease your symptoms and protect your long-term oral health.
What causes dry mouth?
Dry mouth occurs when your body does not produce sufficient saliva. Often, it is a side effect of certain medications, such as antidepressants, antihistamines, high blood pressure medicine, and chemotherapy. Other causes may include:
- Chronic mouth breathing
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Sjögren’s syndrome
- Nerve damage in the head or neck
What are the symptoms of dry mouth?
Dry mouth symptoms are pretty unmistakable since you will usually feel like there is not enough moisture in your mouth. Other signs of xerostomia can include:
- Thick or stringy saliva
- Chronic bad breath
- Problems swallowing
- Decreased sense of taste
- Intense thirst
- Difficulty speaking
- Problems with the way your dentures fit
- A dry or burning throat
- Cracked lips
- Sores in your mouth
Why is it important to seek treatment for dry mouth?
As if the symptoms weren’t troubling enough, dry mouth can also pose a risk to your dental health. Your saliva plays an important role because it helps to wash away food, destroy bacteria, and prevent the overgrowth of harmful microbes. Without sufficient saliva, you are more likely to suffer from cavities and gum disease.
Furthermore, though rare, dry mouth can be the first symptom of a more serious medical condition. In these instances, seeking treatment for xerostomia could lead to a life-saving diagnosis.
Are there products I can use for dry mouth?
Yes, although you should only use these products under the guidance of your dentist or physician. Pilocarpine is a medication that can increase the production of saliva. Cevimeline is a prescription drug for the treatment of Sjögren’s syndrome. Your Dallas dentist may also prescribe fluoride or other products to help combat tooth decay.
Are there any lifestyle changes I should make?
After diagnosing the underlying cause of your dry mouth, Dr. Sigurdson or Dr. Patel can suggest certain modifications that may ease your symptoms. These changes can include:
- Staying hydrated
- Avoiding caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol
- Chewing sugar-free gum or sucking on sugarless hard candies to increase saliva secretion
- Sleeping with a humidifier in the room
- Using toothpaste and mouthwash made especially for those with dry mouth
- Avoiding alcohol-based or peroxide-based mouthwashes
Although medications can lead to dry mouth, you should not stop taking your prescription without the recommendation and guidance of your doctor.
Schedule an Appointment to Minimize Dry Mouth Symptoms
Find lasting relief from your dry mouth when you visit Lakewood Dental Group. Make an appointment online or speak to a member of our team by calling 214-827-1885.