You probably have a good idea of what dry mouth feels like. We all experience it from time-to-time when we are stressed out or upset. After the anxiety and agitation subsides, though, the feeling of dryness typically goes away, and our mouths function again as they should. This is completely normal.
Symptoms of Chronic Dry Mouth
Sometimes, though, people experience dry mouth on a daily basis. The symptoms are pretty straightforward. They include the following: dryness in the mouth and throat; thirst; mouth sores; cracked lips; tingling on the tongue; a red and raw tongue; trouble speaking, tasting, chewing and/or swallowing; hoarseness; and bad breath. If you are regularly dealing with these issues, it’s time to learn more about dry mouth.
Causes of Dry Mouth
Dry mouth is caused when your mouth does not produce enough saliva. This can happen for a number of reasons. Dry mouth can be a side effect of various prescriptions and non-prescription medications; be sure to read the labels on your medications and talk to your doctor about side effects of all drugs you take. Dry mouth can also be the side effect of various diseases. Certain medical treatments, such as radiation and chemotherapy, may also cause dry mouth. Dehydration can also, of course, lead to dry mouth!
Why is Dry Mouth Damaging?
It is irritating to have a dry mouth. It can also be risky. Beyond the cracked lips, burning tongue and other symptoms listed above, dry mouth can also lead to more serious issues. Dry mouth, for example, can ultimately increase your risk of gum disease. (Read more about the risks associated with gum disease here: http://brianhadeed.com/gum-disease/). Dry mouth can also lead to tooth decay—and can even make it harder to successfully wear dentures. (Read more about tooth decay and dentures here: http://brianhadeed.com/tooth-loss-and-dentures/).
Talk to Dr. Hadeed about dry mouth. Depending on your unique lifestyle, he will advise you on how to tackle the issue. He may want you to talk to your general practitioner about changing the dosage or type of medications that you take (but do not reduce or stop medications without first consulting the prescribing doctor). Additionally, some types of mouthwashes and toothpastes are designed to restore moisture to the mouth. Dr. Hadeed may advise you to begin regularly rinsing with, for example, Biotene or Aquoral, or to brush with a type of fluoride toothpaste. Lastly, try to stay moisturized! That’s not to say you should put Oil of Olay in your mouth. It is to say that you should drink plenty of water and use a room vaporizer as frequently as possible.
It’s time to combat dry mouth. We look forward to working on this with you soon! Please call our office in Clinton Township today to set up an appointment.