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dry mouth

What is Dry Mouth?

Dry mouth may also be referred to as xerostomia, and it relates to any condition which results in an unusually dry feeling in the mouth. It may be caused by a decrease in saliva production or salivary flow. It may also be due to medications, which cause symptoms of a dry mouth as one of their side effects. In a smaller number of cases, it is caused by a condition that affects the salivary glands in the mouth. Dry mouth can offer once in a while or often occur, resulting in a significant impact on dental health. It affects your ability to enjoy food and appetite as well in some cases.

Symptoms:

  • A dry feeling in the mouth
  • Feeling dry in the throat or having a sore throat
  • Constantly feeling thirsty
  • Difficulty when chewing, speaking, chewing and swallowing
  • Need for liquids to help with swallowing when eating
  • Reduced or altered taste

Why Should Dry Mouth Be Treated?

Saliva plays an essential role in the normal function of the mouth. It helps to neutralize harmful acids that from caused by bacteria in the mouth. This neutralization helps to prevent dental decay. It also helps to flush away leftover food debris, that bacteria can use to produce harmful acids. Saliva also plays a role in enhancing the ability to taste foods and making it easier to swallow food. Enzymes present in saliva also help with the process of digestion.

woman drinking water

How is it Treated?

Treatment depends on the underlying cause. If you think you have dry mouth or experience symptoms of dry mouth, talk to your dentist or doctor to determine the cause.

  • If medications cause your symptoms, your doctor may switch your medicine or modify the dosage.
  • Saliva stimulating medication may be used if your salivary glands are not working properly.
  • Artificial saliva may also be used to help keep your mouth moistened throughout the day.
  • Increasing fluid intake to help keep your mouth moist will also help.
  • Avoid breathing through your mouth as much as possible.
  • Use a humidifier to add additional moisture to the air in your home.

 

If you believe that you have a dry mouth or if you frequently experience the symptoms associated with it, do not ignore them. Left untreated for long periods of time, it can affect your oral health and quality of life.

 

About Dr. Joseph Salvaggio

Dr. Joseph Salvaggio, DDS

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Located in Brampton, Ontario Dr. Joseph Salvaggio has been practicing general, cosmetic, and implant dentistry for over 20 years. He enjoys interacting with his patients and helping to restore their oral health for better overall health as well. Meeting new patients, interacting and educating them is one of Dr. Salvaggio’s biggest joys. We encourage you to read our reviews or call us with any dental questions you have. We look forward to speaking with you and meeting you soon.

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