The human mouth is designed to be a moist environment that helps in the breakdown of food, enables comfortable swallowing and rinses away bacteria and food particles. However, when you suffer from dry mouth, your mouth isn’t the moist environment it should be and this can lead to dental and overall health issues. Along with making your mouth and throat feel like cotton and constantly parched, dry mouth inhibits vital oral functions that can lead to restorative dentistry treatments. Thankfully, there are ways to treat dry mouth that can protect the health of your teeth and gums.
Signs of dry mouth
Many factors can lead to dry mouth including dehydration, a smoky environment and dry, hot weather. This type of temporary dry mouth is easy to treat by drinking water to rehydrate. However, when dry mouth becomes persistent, it’s a more serious condition that requires treatment before it leads to uncomfortable side effects including:
- Frequently thirsty
- Scratchy, dry throat
- Cracked, dry lips
- Dry, red tongue
- Problems swallowing and chewing
- Chronic bad breath (halitosis)
If you’re experiencing any of the above issues due to dry mouth, it’s important to see your dentist right away and learn about potential causes and treatment options.
Treating dry mouth
Restoring moisture to the mouth is the main goal and purpose of any dry mouth treatment. Factors that prevent the mouth from creating enough saliva include lifestyle habits such as tobacco use, medical conditions and certain medications. Modifying behaviors and talking to your primary care doctor about ways to deal with dry mouth caused by health conditions or medications is a good place to start. Additional treatments for dry mouth include:
- Using a mouth rinse
- Applying an oral gel
- Changing toothpaste
- Using a mouth spray
It’s important to find a saliva replacement treatment that can restore moisture to the mouth and prevent future oral health issues. Unfortunately, many patients have already experienced some sort of oral damage by the time they receive a proper diagnosis of dry mouth. Thankfully, restorative dental treatments can address issues such as gum disease, tooth decay and tooth loss caused by dry mouth.
Don’t wait! If you’re suffering from dry mouth, contact Greater Baltimore Prosthodontics to set up an appointment to diagnose the reason behind your dry mouth. We can work with you to find a solution that will restore the health of your teeth and gums.