What Is Dry Mouth?
Dry mouth, or xerostomia (zeer-o-STOE-me-uh), refers to a condition in which the salivary glands in your mouth don’t make enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. Dry mouth is often due to the side effect of certain medications or aging issues or as a result of radiation therapy for cancer. Less often, dry mouth may be caused by a condition that directly affects the salivary glands.
How Does Dry Mouth Affect My Dental Health?
Saliva helps prevent tooth decay by neutralizing acids produced by bacteria, limiting bacterial growth and washing away food particles. Saliva also enhances your ability to taste and makes it easier to chew and swallow. In addition, enzymes in saliva aid in digestion.
Decreased saliva and dry mouth can range from being merely a nuisance to something that has a major impact on your general health and the health of your teeth and gums, as well as your appetite and enjoyment of food.
Complications from dry mouth may include:
- Increased plaque, tooth decay and gum disease
- Mouth sores
- Yeast infection in your mouth (thrush)
- Sores or split skin at the corners of your mouth, or cracked lips
- Poor nutrition from having problems with chewing and swallowing
What Causes Dry Mouth?
Dry mouth is caused when the salivary glands in the mouth don’t make enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. These glands may not work properly as the result of:
- Cancer therapy
- Nerver damage
- Certain health conditions
- Tobacco, alcohol, and recreational drug use
If you’re not producing enough saliva, you may notice these signs and symptoms all or most of the time:
- Dryness or a feeling of stickiness in your mouth
- Saliva that seems thick and stringy
- Bad breath
- Difficulty chewing, speaking and swallowing
- Dry or sore throat and hoarseness
- Dry or grooved tongue
- A changed sense of taste
- Problems wearing dentures
If you’re experiencing symptoms of dry mouth make an appointment with Glaser Dental. Dr. Glaser will look at the health of your mouth and identify any issues, including dry mouth, that may be causing you discomfort. He will then discuss your best treatment options and plans to move to get your teeth healthy again.
Should I See Dr. Glaser About Dry Mouth?
It’s important to have regular dental cleaning and checkups even if your mouth feels fine. Call 715-359-4344 now to schedule your visit for dry mouth diagnosis and treatment with Dr. Glaser or schedule online at: FIX DRY MOUTH – WAUSAU.