Does your mouth often feel as arid as a desert? Do you have difficulty chewing or speaking? You might suffer from xerostemia (also called “dry mouth”), which affects about 25 million people in the United States. Xerostemia can lead to major dental problems like severe tooth decay or gum disease.
What Causes Dry Mouth?
Dry mouth is often associated with aging, but that’s a misconception. The most common cause of dry mouth is medication. In fact, over 400 types of medication are connected to the condition. Common drugs that can lead to xerostemia include: antihistamines, decongestants, antidepressants, analgesics, antihypersensitives, and sedatives.
Many health conditions can cause dry mouth, including:
- Nerve damage
- Radiation treatment
What Symptoms Does Dry Mouth Cause?
If you suffer from dry mouth, you could experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Thickened saliva
- Mouth irritation
- Cracked lips
- Chronic halitosis (bad breath)
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing, or speaking
- Mouth sores
- Dry or sore throat
- Altered sense of taste
- Increased plaque
- Burning sensation in mouth
How Can Dry Mouth Be Alleviated?
Xerostemia is an uncomfortable condition. Fortunately, many treatments exist to alleviate its symptoms. A variety of products, including saliva-stimulating medications and prescription toothpastes are available from dentists. You might also speak to your physician about a medication change.
On your own, you can purchase sugar-free candies and gums which can help stimulate saliva production. You constantly drink water and sugar-free drinks, which can help keep your mouth hydrated.
Don’t let dry mouth cause more serious oral health problems. Call our Lake Forest, IL, dental practice today at 847.234.0517. We provide general and cosmetic dental services to patients in the North Shore suburbs of the greater Chicago area.