It’s a common condition that causes your mouth to feel uncomfortably dry. Some people call it “cotton mouth”. It can occur when your body doesn’t produce enough saliva to keep your mouth moist. Saliva is important for your oral health as it maintains oral ph balance and tooth integrity, having anti-microbial properties and protects the mouth’s soft tissue. It also aiding in proper digestion and taste.
If you have dry mouth, you may experience any of these symptoms:
- Stickiness in the mouth
- Dryness in the mouth or throat
- Bad breath
- Cracked lips, or splits in the skin at the corners of the mouth
- Soreness in the mouth
- Raw, sore tongue, or inflammation of the tongue
- Dry nasal passages
- Increase in the need to drink when eating and attempting to swallow
- Changes in the sense of taste
- Difficulty wearing dentures or partials
Causes of Dry Mouth:
- Chronic Mouth breathing
- Medications used to treat conditions such as high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, allergies, muscle relaxers, attention deficit disorder, pain, over active bladder and Parkinson’s disease just to name a few.
- Medical treatments and procedures such as chemotherapy and radiation to the head and neck.
- Diseases and health conditions such as diabetes mellitus, Sjogrens syndrome, scleroderma, depression, and anxiety.
- Lifestyle contributors, such as alcohol use, smoking, and consuming to much caffeine.
- A decrease in the production of saliva due to the natural aging processes
- Blocked salivary ducts
- Stress and anxiety
If you suffer from dry mouth, be sure to discuss treatment methods with your dentists at Parkland Pacific Dental.
Some recommendations for dry mouth, used in our office and available over the counter are:
- Biotene Dry Mouth Oral Rinse, a rinse that can be used up to 5 times per day.
- Biotene Oral Balance Gel can be used anytime during the day or night. Extrude a sufficient amount of gel from the tube on the finger or use a cotton swab to take the gel from the tube and apply up under the lips or on the tongue.
- Xylitol products such as Spry Gum and Ice Chips.
- Cool air Humidifier at night in your bedroom
Since dry mouth can also cause extensive decay or cavities, we recommend to:
- Avoid foods with high sugar content, especially candy
- Create good oral hygiene
- Brushing and flossing at least twice daily
- Drink water throughout the day-most people do not drink enough water and this is a contributor to dry mouth.
- Use an over-the-counter, fluoride mouth rinse such as Act Restore.
Products we may recommend by prescription for high decay rate due to dry mouth:
- Colgate PreviDent mouth rinse
- Clinpro 5000 toothpaste
Dry mouth may not be completely preventable, but steps can be taken to ensure good oral health.
We at Parkland Pacific Dental are always here to help maintain your healthy smiles.
By Kelly (Hygienist at Parkland Pacific Dental)