Have you heard of chronic dry mouth? Do you find yourself with not enough moisture in your mouth when you go to speak or swallow? If so, then you may have dry mouth. This is an uncomfortable medical condition that causes you to experience an ongoing dry sensation in the mouth because of a lack of sufficient saliva flow.
This is important because the purpose of saliva is to protect your oral health by rinsing away bacteria and food particles from your teeth throughout the day. Saliva also helps digest the food you eat, controls oral bacteria which helps prevent infections, helps you speak, chew and swallow, and keeps tooth decay away.
Dry mouth symptoms
Trouble swallowing, speaking, and chewing
Throat feels dry
Chronic bad breath
Metallic taste in your mouth
You find it harder to taste your food
Lips are chronically dry and cracked
Your mouth feels sticky or dry
Your tongue feels like it’s burning
Our experienced team is happy to help you determine the cause of your chronic dry mouth, which can arise from a number of different risk factors. Let’s take a look!
What’s causing your dry mouth?
-One common cause of dry mouth is menopause. This happens when the hormones fluctuate and affect the salivary glands, so if you are menopausal or post-menopausal, you may have persistent dry mouth.
-Some patients find that they are taking certain medications that cause dry mouth. If you suspect this is the case for you, we encourage you to speak with your primary physician regarding your options for reining in dry mouth.
-If you use tobacco in any form or consume alcohol regularly, you can become dehydrated and disrupt the natural function of your saliva glands, also causing dry mouth.
-If you are receiving radiation therapy or chemotherapy for cancer, you may incur damage to the salivary glands that can lead to reduced or thick saliva.
Help for dry mouth
You may find relief from dry mouth by practicing some daily habits that help to increase your saliva flow. Helpful habits such as drinking water often throughout your day, reducing salt in your diet, chewing sugarless gum or taking an artificial saliva product may help to improve your condition. You’ll also want to avoid caffeinated beverages which act as diuretics, and be aware that consuming spicy foods and drinks can cause pain if you have dry mouth.
We encourage you to speak with our experienced doctor if you notice symptoms such as dry mouth or swollen areas of your neck, throat or mouth so that we can help you receive a diagnosis and discuss your treatment options. We look forward to helping you maintain a healthy mouth for a healthy, beautiful smile!