Here at Smile Hub Dental Clinic, we see many patients who suffer from dry mouth. Dry mouth is a condition where there is not enough saliva in the mouth to keep it moist. Dry mouth happens to everyone on occasion, particularly if a person is nervous, stressed or upset. Constant dry mouth is different and can be very uncomfortable. It can even lead to other health problems or be a sign that there already is a health condition as saliva helps to digest food, protects the teeth, prevents infection in the mouth and is essential for chewing and swallowing.
There are a number of reasons why the salivary glands may not be producing saliva adequately. Dry mouth can be a side affect to a lot of medications. Certain diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and HIV can affect the salivary glands. Radiation therapy can also affect the salivary glands and even cause damage temporarily or permanently. Chemotherapy can change the consistency of the saliva causing dry mouth. The hormone change during menopause and heavy smoking can also cause dry mouth.
Everyone can experience dry mouth from time to time but it may be more severe if it is constant and includes the following symptoms:
- The mouth feeling dry and sticky
- Finding it hard to swallow
- A burning sensation on your tongue
- Throat feels dry
- Cracked or split lips
- Not able to taste or ongoing taste of metal in the mouth
- Mouth sores
- Constant bad breath
- Finding it hard to talk or chew
There is no exact cure to dry mouth. All a person can do is try to figure out what is causing their mouth to be dry and treat the cause. If you find out that it is medication which is causing dry mouth you could ask you doctor to change your medication or the dosage. If it is due to a condition which is stopping your salivary glands from working properly, your doctor might be able to prescribe you medication to help this. If you cannot find the cause of your dry mouth, here are a few things that can be done to help keep the mouth moist:
- Drink water regularly
- Mouth moisturisers or saliva substitutes
- Special formulated mouthwash for dry mouth
- Avoid beverages such as tea and coffee as they can cause the mouth to become dry
- Chew sugar free gum to stimulate the salivary glands
- Avoid smoking and alcohol as they can cause dry mouth
- If your mouth is dry avoid spicy and salty foods that can cause irritation
- Use a humidifier while sleeping
If you have dry mouth and would like to find out more information on it please contact Smile Hub Dental Clinic at 01 5253888 or book and appointment online.