It is not uncommon for people to experience dry mouth on a temporary basis. It may be due to stress or a more physical issue where saliva is not produced enough to keep the mouth moist. Patients who have dry mouth, or xerostomia, may experience:
- Dryness and stickiness in the mouth and throat
- Difficulty swallowing or chewing due to dryness
- Difficulty speaking properly or tasting foods
- Dry, cracked lips
- Irritation of the gums
- Sores inside of the mouth from dryness
- Persistent bad breath
When this becomes a serious, more chronic problem, it may be time to speak to a dental professional about your options. Tackling dry mouth is important because it negatively impacts a healthy smile. The lack of saliva makes it difficult for bacteria to be flushed from the mouth, and can cause an increased risk for dental decay and periodontal disease. With proper treatment, patients can reduce this risk and improve their oral health, while staying more comfortable on a day-to-day basis.
What can be done to treat dry mouth?
There are many steps patients can take to combat dry mouth and keep the area moist for proper function and better oral health. Below are a few ways in which patients can address xerostomia effectively:
- Run a humidifier in the bedroom at night, and throughout the house during the day
- Utilize an over-the-counter, non-prescription artificial saliva product
- Drink water throughout the day to stay properly hydrated
- Chew sugar-free gums or suck on sugar-free candies to stimulate the salivary glands
- Stop smoking cigarettes
- Reduce or even eliminate caffeine from the diet, as this can cause dry mouth
- Evaluate the medications you are taking, as dry mouth may be a side effect
- Use mouthwash that is alcohol-free, as this can increase dry mouth problems
Request a visit with Dr. Heather Fleschler today!
Houston, TX area patients are welcome to book an appointment with Dr. Heather Fleschler and her team by calling (713) 660-6500 and visiting the office at 5252 Westchester Street, Suite #200. Her practice is here to help new and current patients with a wide range of dental concerns, including the diagnosis and treatment of xerostomia.