May 23, 2013
Although patients may feel like dry mouth is not a big deal, when it comes to oral health, dry mouth can lead to a number of dental problems. Reston cosmetic dentist Wayne Myles offers this overview on how to prevent and treat dry mouth.
The Causes and Symptoms of Dry Mouth
Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is a condition in which the salivary glands fail to produce adequate saliva. There are a number of causes of dry mouth. Some possible causes include:
- Certain mediations
Dry mouth can lead to serious dental issues, like tooth decay and gum disease, which is why treating and preventing dry mouth is so important. It's important not to let the symptoms of dry mouth go unnoticed. The following are some common symptoms of dry mouth, which should not be ignored.
- Frequent thirst
- Dry, raw, sore tongue
- Cracked lips
- Dry, split corners of the mouth
- Dry feeling in mouth, throat, or nasal passageway
- Difficulty chewing and swallowing foods
- Constant bad breath
Preventing and Treating Dry Mouth
Treating dry mouth greatly depends on the cause of dry mouth. For a personalized treatment plan, Dr. Myles welcomes patients to schedule a consultation at his practice. In the meantime, here are some helpful ways to prevent and treat dry mouth.
- Drink plenty of water: Dehydration is a major cause of dry mouth. Drinking plenty of water is one of the biggest ways to keep the body and mouth hydrated.
- Suck on sugar-free candy: Sucking on sugar-free candy can help encourage saliva production, which will help reduce the symptoms of dry mouth.
- Chew sugar-free gum: Chewing on sugar-free gum works in the same way as sucking on sugar-free candy. It helps stimulate the salivary glands to produce more saliva.
- Use a vaporizer to add moisture to the air: Breathing in dry air can cause or increase existing dry mouth symptoms. Use a vaporizer to introduce moisture in the air.
- Reduce the dosage of medications (with doctor approval): Some medications can cause dry mouth. Patients who have dry mouth and are on medications known to cause dry mouth should speak with their doctors about lowering the dose or trying alternative medications.
- Use a saliva substitute: Use an over-the-counter saliva substitute or mouth wash to help rehydrate the mouth and reduce dry mouth symptoms.
Seek Treatment Now – Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Myles
Untreated dry mouth can lead to major oral health problems. Dry mouth has been linked to an increased risk of tooth decay, gum disease, even tooth loss. Saliva plays an important role in oral health. It helps wash away food particles and bacteria to protect the mouth from decay and infection. For those who have already experienced dental damage, Dr. Myles offers a wide range of restorative and cosmetic dental treatments. For patients in Reston, dental reconstruction is a wonderful way to restore health and confidence. Don't wait any longer! Schedule a consultation today!
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