Dry mouth, xerostomia (zeer-o-STOE-me-uh), is a common condition which can be caused by certain medical conditions, because of cancer treatment or kidney dialysis, and certain medications. Aging, recreation drug use, and tobacco and alcohol abuse can also contribute to dry mouth.
Dry mouth is a decrease of saliva in the mouth and can be an uncomfortable condition. Not only is it uncomfortable, but since there is not enough saliva to keep the mouth clean, bacterial can build up and contribute to tooth decay, gingivitis, and periodontal disease.
According to the Mayo Clinic dry mouth may lead to mouth sores, thrush (yeast infection in your mouth), increased plaque, gum disease, and tooth decay, cracked lips, split skin or sores at the corners of your mouth, and poor nutrition from problems swallowing or chewing.
While only a doctor can determine the cause of dry mouth, there are some things you can do to find relief.
- Chew sugar free gum
- Limit caffeine intake
- Use mouthwash with no alcohol
- Do not use tobacco
- Sip water
- Try over the counter moisturizing products
- Avoid over the counter decongestants and antihistamines
- Breathe through your mouth
- Use a humidifier at night
Keeping up with your oral health is important if you suffer from dry mouth. Be sure to keep regular dental checkup appointments so the doctor can monitor your oral health. Call or contact Dr. Buckingham today if you suffer from dry mouth and ask about treatments to give you relief.