Dry mouth is more than just an annoyance - it poses a serious risk to your dental health. Read on to find out how the Dental Partners of Brookline are ready to help you keep your dry mouth under control and prevent the negative effects. 'Xerostomia' - What is It? Xerostomia is the medical term for “dry mouth.” Dry mouth happens when the glands that are supposed to produce your saliva are slowed down or damaged. Without this saliva, the tissues of your mouth become sticky, dry, and uncomfortable. It also makes teeth more susceptible to tooth decay.
The Causes of Dry Mouth
Dry mouth is frequently caused by medications. Many different drugs list dry mouth as a side-effect. For some individuals, discussing their medication options with their doctor and switching prescriptions fixes the problem.
This may not be so simple, however, if you cannot switch medications or if the damage to your salivary glands is permanent. Salivary glands can be adversely affected by certain cancer treatments or stress, or they could accompany other medical conditions such as radiation treatment, autoimmune deficiencies, or diabetes. A reduced saliva flow may also just be incidental to the aging process.
Dealing with Dry Mouth
You can alleviate dry mouth by making a few adjustments in your eating habits. Increasing your water intake and avoiding very dry foods will make eating easier. Also try to avoid foods high in acid and salt, which would only irritate and dry out your mouth even more.
With less saliva in your mouth, bacteria stand a greater chance of causing tooth decay, so make sure you are diligent with the brushing and flossing. Chewing sugar-free gum and mints can help to stimulate saliva flow. Rinse regularly with an alcohol-free mouthwash and keep your appointments for regular dental exams.
Schedule a visit to the office of the Dental Partners of Brookline to learn the best way to manage dry mouth and monitor the health of your teeth in the process.