A Word From Dental Assistant Carolyn: Spit Happens!
You may not realize it, but saliva has some important functions in the mouth. Saliva kick-starts the digestive process and helps cleanse the teeth. Dry mouth, or xerostomia, happens when you don’t have enough saliva in your mouth. Most people experience this at some point, but constant dry mouth requires further investigation. People with dry mouth may experience constant sore throat, problems swallowing and difficulty eating. The lack of saliva to wash away food particles and neutralize the plaque in your mouth may lead to bad breath and an increase in tooth decay.
Antihistamines, decongestants and almost 400 other medications can cause xerostomia. A quick call to your pharmacist will tell you if your medications cause this. There are also diseases that trigger dry mouth so it is important to seek medical advice from your dentist and doctor. There are rinses, toothpastes, moisturizers available to help with the symptoms. You can also drink more water through the day, avoid salty/spicy foods and use a humidifier at night. Although these tools won’t cure the problem, they help a great deal and will make you more comfortable.
For answers to your additional questions about dry mouth, contact Smile Savers Dentistry near Ellicott City, MD.