General Dentistry Treatments for Dry Mouth
By on October 09, 2015
Dry mouth, or xerostomia, can cause immense discomfort. There are numerous causes of dry mouth, ranging from dehydration to serious medical conditions. Whatever the particular reason for your dry mouth, however, it is important to seek treatment. Your saliva plays an important role in your oral health. Without care, you could be at a higher risk for decay and gum disease. At Clarksville Smiles, Dr. Ribeiro offers complete general dentistry, including dry mouth treatment. After determining the cause of your condition, we will recommend appropriate care to protect your smile and relieve your chronically parched tongue. To learn more about dry mouth causes and treatments, contact our Clarksville practice today.
What Causes Dry Mouth?
Dry mouth can occur for many reasons. In some cases, you may simply not be drinking enough water. However, this type of dry mouth is temporary, and you will likely notice a correlation between your symptoms and fluid consumption. Reasons for chronic dry mouth include:
- Certain medications: Antihistamines, antidepressants, decongestants, and many other medications can cause dry mouth. Bring a list of your current prescriptions when you come to our office for your consultation. Age is not a direct cause of xerostomia. However, seniors are more likely to suffer from the condition since they take more medicine.
- Other medical conditions: Less commonly, you may suffer from dry mouth because of another health concern. Dry mouth can accompany diabetes, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease, among other conditions.
- Nerve damage: In rare cases, an injury or past surgery can damage the nerves responsible for saliva production.
- Breathing patterns: If you breathe through your mouth, rather than through your nose, saliva will evaporate quickly, leading to dry mouth.
- Smoking: Cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco can dry out your mouth. Plus, tobacco use will increase your risk for gum disease and oral cancer.
Treatment Options for Dry Mouth
The right treatment for your xerostomia will, of course, depend on its underlying cause. In some cases, simple lifestyle changes may be sufficient. For example, quitting smoking or learning to breathe through your nose can bring relief. You can also try drinking more water, sucking on sugarless candies, and avoiding alcohol and caffeine. Sleeping with a humidifier can also moisten your mouth and nasal passages. Additionally, you may benefit from switching medications, if possible. Often, your doctor can prescribe a comparable drug that will not affect saliva production.
If these changes do not work, Dr. Ribeiro may prescribe a medication to stimulate saliva. He can also recommend mouthwashes or oral moisturizers.
Why Is Dry Mouth Treatment So Important?
It is important to find the right treatment for your xerostomia. Not only does saliva keep your mouth comfortably moistened, it also helps to wash away food and bacteria. Therefore, when your body does not produce enough saliva, you are likely to develop rapid gum disease, bad breath, and tooth decay. Plus, dry mouth affects the taste of food, your speech, and your overall quality of life.
Contact Us for the Relief You Need
If you do not know what is causing your dry mouth, contact us for a consultation. After a complete exam, we will determine the right treatment for your needs.
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“Dr. Ribeiro has been my dentist for many years, and he has always provided exceptional service. His staff is very professional and courteous. They always go out of their way to ensure I have a pleasant experience.” Tina Reed