Understanding Dry Mouth

Female patient with dry mouth at Portage MI dentist

Understanding Dry Mouth

Female patient with dry mouth at Portage MI dentist

Not having enough saliva in your mouth can happen and it’s anything but enjoyable. Luckily, dry mouth is a common condition and can be treated in a variety of ways by our Portage dentist.

Here’s what you need to know about dry mouth including popular symptoms and likely causes.

Do I Have Dry Mouth?: Definition and Possible Causes

Dry mouth, or xerostomia, describes a condition in which an individual’s salivary glands do not produce enough natural saliva to keep their mouth wet. Those who suffer from dry mouth know it to be uncomfortable and frustrating especially when a cause is not immediately obvious.

Common Causes

If you are experiencing dry mouth, it could be due to:

  • Medications being taken
  • Aging
  • Cancer therapy
  • Dehydration
  • Sleeping with mouth open
  • Nerve damage
  • Underlying health conditions such as diabetes, autoimmune diseases, or more
  • Tobacco and alcohol use

It is with a proper oral examination and review of your full health history that our dentist can determine what is responsible for your dry mouth. We also recommend coming into our Portage dental office to receive a teeth cleaning every 6 months to ensure your oral health is taken care of and your condition is not leading to additional issues.

What Are the Symptoms of Dry Mouth?

There are several notable symptoms tied to dry mouth. These symptoms should not be ignored as prolonged dry mouth can increase your risk for tooth decay, gum disease, and mouth infections.

Less saliva can oftentimes result in:

  • Dry or sticky feeling in your mouth
  • Thick or stringy saliva
  • Constant thirst
  • Noticeably bad breath
  • Difficulty chewing, speaking, or swallowing
  • Dry or sore throat (hoarseness)
  • Red, raw, or dry tongue

Sometimes symptoms can resolve themselves on their own through advised medication adjustments, increased hydration, or abstinence from tobacco or alcohol. Making teeth brushing a priority at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste can also help alleviate dry mouth.

Available Solutions and Treatments for Dry Mouth

No matter what caused the onset of your dry mouth, relief is just an appointment away. You do not have to figure out the reason behind your condition on your own. After all, the culprit could be any number of things. Prevent further oral complications by seeing our dentist as soon as you’re able.

Depending on your medical history, recommended treatment options can include prescription or over-the-counter mouth rinses, artificial saliva or moisturizers, and fluoride trays. Chewing sugar-free gum on your own can also help stimulate natural saliva production.

Be sure to let our dentist know if a certain treatment is not working. We will do our best to review your condition further and suggest alternative options. If a medication you’re taking is causing your dry mouth, please discuss this side effect with your doctor.

Find Relief From Your Condition

Experiencing dry mouth regularly is not only annoying, but possibly harmful to your oral health. Fortunately, there are treatments available and ways to find out what’s behind your condition. Our dentist in Portage, MI, can help pinpoint the reason for your dry mouth and work to lessen nagging symptoms. Call Courtside Dental today at (269) 327-1011 or contact us online.