What Is Dry Mouth?

water in a desertDry mouth is a symptom caused by a decrease in the amount of saliva produced. When dry mouth occurs, there is not as much saliva to help digest your food and clean your mouth. In the drier environment, oral bacteria may grow more easily inside of your mouth and possibly increase the risk of developing gingivitis and/or tooth decay, which may lead to tooth loss if left untreated.

What Causes Dry Mouth?

Dry mouth can be caused by multiple factors, such as dehydration, different medications, certain diseases, or even some forms of medical treatment. Medications that help treat depression, anxiety, or physical discomfort can include several side effects that may include dry mouth. A multitude of diseases and infections can also include dry mouth as one of their many symptoms, like, Sjögren’s syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, and a host of other conditions. Cancer patients who go through chemotherapy may experience damage to the salivary glands from the radiation, which can drastically reduce the amount of saliva produced.

 How Is Dry Mouth Treated?

To determine how to treat dry mouth, you must first determine what the source is. If it is caused by taking certain medications, your doctor may be able to adjust the dosage you are taking, or even switch to a different medication that will not cause dry mouth. Sugar-free candy and gum can help to stimulate your salivary glands, keeping your mouth moist. Drinking lots of water helps keep you well-hydrated and your saliva production steady. Also, visiting our office at least once every six months for a dental checkup and cleaning will allow your dentist to keep an eye out for dry mouth and other dental health issues.

ABOUT YOUR SHREWSBURY COSMETIC DENTISTS:

At Modern Dentistry, Todd A. Pizzi, DDS, and Luciana Messina, DDS, are dedicated to providing high-quality cosmetic, restorative, and preventive dentistry services to patients and families in Shrewsbury, Worcester, North and South Grafton, Westborough, Southborough, Northborough, Boylston, Hopkinton, Millbury, and all surrounding communities. To schedule your next appointment, contact our office by calling (508) 842-6356 today.