The Main Causes of Dry Mouth and How to Handle It
If your salivary glands are not producing enough saliva in your mouth, it may be an indication of a serious health problem. Saliva plays an important role in the body; it helps break down your food, protects your teeth from decay, controls bacteria from forming in the mouth and allows you to chew and swallow.
If you find that you regularly experience a dry mouth, be sure to speak with your doctor or family dentist in Red Deer as you may have a medical condition that needs treatment.
Your salivary glands may not be functioning properly for a number of reasons:
- You may be experiencing side effects from medication. Several medicines cause dry mouth including pain killers, antihistamines and decongestants.
- Several diseases affect the salivary glands such as diabetes, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, hypertension and stroke.
- Certain medical treatments can damage the salivary glands including radiation to the head and neck and chemotherapy for cancer.
- An injury or surgery that has caused nerve damage to the head and neck can impair the salivary glands.
- Flu-like symptoms such as fever, excessive sweating, nausea and diarrhea can cause dehydration and dry mouth.
- Smoking, chewing tobacco and breathing through your mouth can also contribute to dry mouth.
How Do You Know if You Have Dry Mouth?
- Very simply, your mouth feels dry and parched
- You are experiencing dry mouth and/or getting lots of cavities at the gum line
- You are constantly thirsty
- You have sores in your mouth, split skin at the corners of your mouth or dry and cracked lips
- You are experiencing a tingling sensation in your mouth and on your tongue
- Your tongue is dry and red
- You are having problems speaking, tasting, chewing, and swallowing
- Your nasal passage is dry and you have a sore throat
- You often have bad breath
How to Treat Dry Mouth
Your doctor may prescribe an oral rinse to help with mouth moisture or a medication called Salagen, which works to enhance the production of saliva. You can also try chewing on sugar-free gum, staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water, brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, using a fluoride rinse, and visiting your dentist for a dental examination. You can also try breathing through your nose and investing in a room vaporizer to improve the quality of air in your indoor environment.
If bad breath and tooth decay are a recurring problem for you and you have been experiencing symptoms of dry mouth, Parkland Mall Dental Centre is here to help. We are currently accepting new dental patients and are happy to offer advice on managing the cause and symptoms of dry mouth. From teeth cleaning and whitening to preventative dentistry tips, we are well equipped and readily available to support all of your oral health needs. We provide dental services to both adults and children in a welcoming, safe and sanitary environment.