Don’t Let Dry Mouth Persist

Do you feel like you have cotton in your mouth constantly? Everyone’s mouth is dry sometimes, but if you have consistent dry mouth, you shouldn’t delay treatment.

Dry mouth, known medically as xerostomia, occurs when you don’t have enough saliva in your mouth. This can be caused by stress, but constant dry mouth is often a signal for an underlying disease or condition.

Other causes of dry mouth include:

  • Cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation of the head or neck
  • Hormone changes, such as those that occur during pregnancy or menopause
  • Health problems, such as HIV/AIDS and diabetes
  • Snoring or open-mouthed breathing

Dry mouth may make it difficult to speak, chew, swallow, and may alter the taste of your food. It can also cause a sore throat, hoarseness, and bad breath. Most seriously, however, dry mouth can lead to tooth decay. Your saliva helps to re-strengthen your tooth enamel after eating and drinking, so a lack of saliva can result in weaker tooth enamel, which, in turn, can lead to tooth decay.

If you suffer from dry mouth, try the following tips:

  • Sip water or sugarless drinks, or suck (don’t bite) on ice chips.
  • Avoid irritants, such as alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine. Remember that caffeine is found in many sodas, as well as in coffee and tea.
  • Chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free candy.
  • Avoid salty or spicy foods.
  • Use a humidifier in your bedroom at night.
  • Consider using saliva substitutes.

Dr. Ryan Hussong, a comprehensive care dentist in Polk City, Iowa, can effectively treat dry mouth and other oral conditions at his state-of-the-art dental office. Call Cornerstone Dental at (515) 984-6001 to reserve your appointment.