Experiencing a temporary issue with dry mouth on occasion sometimes occurs as a result of not drinking enough water, during a period of nervousness, anxiety or other potential reasons. However, for some individuals, dry mouth becomes a continuous issue, often as a result of taking certain medications.
Learn about dry mouth, potential serious effects on your oral health and why seeing your dentist more often becomes crucial when you have dry mouth issues. Discuss your symptoms and concerns each time you see your dentist in Las Colinas at the Smiles of Las Colinas office.
Dry Mouth Symptoms
Dry mouth, or xerostomia, occurs when there is not enough saliva in the mouth to keep a healthy amount of moisture in the mouth. Saliva helps break down food, helps keep your teeth clean and helps prevent cavities or caries. Some symptoms of dry mouth include a dry or burning feeling in the mouth or throat, dry or rough tongue, difficulty speaking or swallowing and possible issues with tasting or chewing food normally.
Dry mouth is not simply a minor occurrence for many people. Dry mouth has the potential to lead to tooth decay, gingivitis and oral health-related infections. It is not a normal part of aging as some may believe and therefore often requires intervention from a dentist trained to diagnose and treat the condition.
Medications And Dry Mouth
There is a known link between some medications and dry mouth. In fact, the American Dental Association (ADA) points out that dry mouth is a side effect of more than 500 medications. Medications most often linked to the condition include those that treat allergies, asthma, pain, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, medications that treat mental health issues such as anxiety or depression.
It is crucial that you let your dentist know every medication you take at each visit, including prescription and over-the-counter medications. Make sure you also discuss any health issues that you have such as diabetes or Sjogren’s syndrome.
Lessen Dry Mouth Discomfort
There are some steps you can take to possibly lessen discomfort associated with dry mouth. Sip water throughout the day, chew sugar-free gum to help encourage saliva production, reduce or eliminate caffeine from your diet as well as alcohol and tobacco products.
These steps do not take the place of receiving treatment from a dentist. The Oral Health Foundation stresses, “You have a higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease with dry mouth, and these can get worse more quickly than usual,” and that you should visit your dentist regularly.
Contact the dentist in Las Colinas and schedule an appointment at Smiles of Las Colinas to determine if you have dry mouth and for all your dental care needs.