Understanding the Causes of Dry Mouth and How to Treat the Condition
Most people pay little to no attention to their saliva. It is simply a part of the mouth with little purpose, right? In fact, that is not the case. Saliva actually is a key oral component with a very important job. Saliva is the mouth’s natural cleanser, working to rid the mouth of food particles and harmful bacteria. Saliva can help prevent the need for restorative dentistry treatments that repair the damage of decay and infection. Unfortunately, there are circumstances that cause some patients to lack a sufficient amount of saliva, and one’s oral health is likely to deteriorate as a result. For our patients who suffer from this condition, the dentists at South Ogden Smiles offer dry mouth treatments to restore moisture to the mouth.
What Causes Dry Mouth?
There are a number of circumstances that can lead to dry mouth. In some cases, the causes of dry mouth are circumstantial, resulting in a short-term case of dry mouth. However, in other cases, the causes of dry mouth can lead to a long-term condition. Understanding the cause of dry mouth can be helpful in determining an appropriate treatment, so it is important to talk to a dentist about health history, medication uses, and lifestyle habits in order to pinpoint the source of dry mouth. Some factors that can lead to dry mouth include the following:
- Certain medical conditions or diseases
- The use of certain medications
- Nerve damage
- Damage to the salivary glands, or the surgical removal of these glands
- Smoking and the use of other tobacco products
Dry Mouth Treatments
There are several treatments available to create moisture in the mouth. First and foremost, it is important for patients to stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water is important to the production of saliva. Other habits that can help promote saliva production include sucking on sugar-free candies and chewing sugar-free gum. While these habits can be helpful, most patients require additional treatment. In many cases, our dentists will recommend the use of an artificial saliva rinse. This can keep the mouth moist, eliminating many side effects of dry mouth such as bad breath and tooth decay. In more serious cases, a medicine may be prescribed to promote saliva production. For those whose dry mouth is caused by the use of certain medication, a change in prescription may be recommended.
Another important part of dry mouth treatment is addressing any side effects that have developed. Many patients who suffer from dry mouth experience a deterioration in oral health. Without saliva to aid in oral cleaning, patients are likely to suffer from tooth decay and/or gum disease. Our restorative dental treatments can bring the teeth and gums back to their natural state of health and function.
Dry mouth can create discomfort and is likely to lead to oral health problems. If you suffer from dry mouth, take care of your mouth by discussing treatment with one of our experienced dentists. Contact us at South Ogden Smiles to learn how we can restore moisture to your mouth. We look forward to hearing from you!