It can be annoying or even downright uncomfortable—and if left untreated, it can actually damage your teeth. If your tongue feels more like a dusty road, you've got dry mouth.Problems associated with dry mouth include chronic sore throat, burning sensations, trouble speaking, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness and dry nasal passages.
Why Saliva is Important.
Reduced saliva flow that results in a dry mouth is common among older adults. Saliva lubricates your mouth, washing away excess food and neutralizing the acids produced by plaque. In fact, some minerals found in saliva actually help repair early tooth decay. Without adequate saliva to help perform these functions, extensive cavities can form.
Dry Mouth Causes and Treatments.
Xerostomia—dry mouth's clinical name—can be caused by certain medical disorders and is often a side effect of medications including antihistamines, decongestants, pain killers and diuretics. An examination of your mouth combined with a review of your medical history can help us determine whether you have xerostomia. Blood tests and imaging scans of your salivary glands are sometimes used to assess the cause.
A change or adjustment in medications may help alleviate dry mouth. We may also prescribe a medication that stimulates saliva production. Sugar-free hard candy or chewing gum, over-the-counter saliva substitutes, home humidifiers or other methods may also aid in saliva production.
Don't ignore dry mouth. We can help before the condition becomes painful or destructive. Please don't hesitate to ask any of our staff for help.