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Causes and Treatment of Dry Mouth

By on August 31, 2011

One dental problem that people find inconvenient (and rightfully so) is dry mouth. When your mouth is dry, it’s hard to speak, it’s hard to eat, it’s pretty much hard to do anything other than look uncomfortable. Yet what many people don’t realize is that dry mouth can also cause serious dental problems or might be the sign of a serious health condition. In the case of the former, dry mouth can accelerate tooth decay and gum disease and can also contribute to bad breath; in the case of the latter, many systemic diseases list dry mouth as a symptom.

If you notice persistent dry mouth, you should speak with Dr. Bruce Wilderman as soon as possible. A skilled Doylestown and Philadelphia cosmetic dentist, Dr. Wilderman will perform a comprehensive evaluation of your dental health to determine the cause of your dry mouth. He will then propose a number of different treatments that may be well suited to meet your unique needs.

Right now, let’s take a quick look at the various causes of dry mouth. (It’s medical name is xerostomia, in case you are interested.) This will give you an idea of what to look out for. After we’ve gone over some of those common causes, we’ll also look at some treatment options that you can consider. Some of them are even available at your local grocery store or drug store.

First of all, one of the most common causes of dry mouth is anxiety. We’ve all had the feeling before a big job interview of a major speaking engagement. Getting dry mouth when you’re nervous is normal, so there’s no need to worry about that. Three other common causes of dry mouth which are to be expected include dehydration, breathing through the mouth, and the consumption of alcoholic beverages.

Other common causes of dry mouth involve problems with the salivary glands. In some cases, the salivary glands may be blocked or injured, which causes poor saliva production or reduced saliva production. Health conditions such as diabetes and certain oral cancers may also have dry mouth as a side effect. (It should also be noted that dry mouth is a common side effect of certain medications as well as chemotherapy and radiation therapy.)

The above are just a few basic causes, so let’s check out some possible solutions to dry mouth you should consider.

One good tip is to stay well hydrated. Doing so will likely prevent dry mouth associated with dehydration and alcohol consumption. On the note of alcohol, though, be sure that you use a mouthwash that is alcohol-free to prevent your mouth from drying out.

Another tip worth considering is to have some sugar-free gum or some sugar-free sour candies handy. Both of these will promote saliva production simply by chewing or sucking. This can be ideal if you have a blockage in the salivary gland, for instance. (Though be sure to throw away your gum or candy before that public speaking event you’ve been worrying about.) In case water alone is not enough to keep your mouth moist, there are various artificial saliva on the market that may be helpful. These come in the form of sprays, gels, and lozenges and can work wonders when dry mouth strikes.

Whatever the case may be, it’s important that you speak with Dr. Wilderman or your physician as soon as you notice chronic and persistent dry mouth. Identifying the problem and treating it as soon as possible is always a good practice.

For more info on dry mouth, Philadelphia porcelain veneers, and other options for effective dental care treatment, contact our Doylestown cosmetic dentistry office today.

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