Dental Updates

Why Having Dry Mouth Syndrome Can Pose a Problem

Have you experienced feeling too dry in the mouth? Feeling thirsty too frequently and accompanied by a tingling or burning sensation in the mouth or throat? You probably have xerostomia, commonly known as dry mouth syndrome. Other symptoms include redness of the tongue, hoarseness of voice, bad breath, mouth sores and difficulty when speaking or chewing.

Did you know dry mouth syndrome can increase your risk of gum disease, mouth infection or tooth decay? Since there is little lubrication from saliva, wearing dentures can be a bit difficult.

Dry mouth syndrome is caused by a variety of factors such as dehydration, nerve damage, surgical removal of the salivary glands, tobacco use, medication and certain diseases. With respect to medication, the mouth condition may result from taking antidepressants, decongestants or antihistamines, sedatives, muscle relaxants and treatment for hypertension, diarrhea, urinary incontinence and allergies.

This oral health condition may also accompany diseases like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, anemia, stroke and HIV or AIDS.

It is important to treat dry mouth syndrome. If left unaddressed, this condition may contribute to gingivitis and tooth decay.

To treat dry mouth syndrome, the dentist may inquire if youre taking any medication or undergoing certain treatment procedures that may have caused the oral health issue. You may ask the doctor who prescribed these medications to adjust the dosage or change the drug.

You can also use a mouth moisturizing agent to keep your mouth lubricated. If that doesnt work, there are drugs that can stimulate saliva production. Speak with your dentist about these treatment options.

Other options you can choose to boost saliva flow and prevent dry mouth syndrome include chewing sugar-free gum or candy, brushing using fluoride toothpaste and drinking lots of water. You might want to entertain the use of a room vaporizer. Inquire about artificial saliva substitute, which is available over the counter. Also, breathing through the nose and not through the mouth can ease dry mouth syndrome.

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Bernard L. Hoffman, III, DDS

Bernard L. Hoffman, III, DDS

General, Implant and Restorative Dentistry

My father was a dentist and I enjoyed the lifestyle that dentistry provided me as a child. I enjoy the fact that dentistry is such a challenge...

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Ana Paula Hoffman, DDS, MSc, PhD

Ana Paula Hoffman, DDS, MSc, PhD

General, Children and Cosmetic Dentistry

I always liked the medical field, but I didn't want to be a physician. Dentistry was the right profession, where I could help patients, providing them...

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