Dry mouth, clinically known as xerostomia, can wreak havoc on your oral health. Treating dry mouth can be complicated since a multitude of health issues and lifestyle factors can contribute to xerostomia.
Our dentist treats dry mouth by isolating the underlying causes and determining the appropriate course of action to improve a patient’s symptoms.
Believe it or not, many cases of xerostomia are the result of dehydration. Developing dehydration is more commonplace than we think and it’s not something that only affects athletes.
If your dry mouth is caused by dehydration, increase your water intake. People should drink a minimum of eight glasses of water each day. If you work out a lot or have a career in a physically demanding field, it’s important to drink a few more than eight glasses of water a day.
Chronic Health Problems
A number of systemic health problems can contribute to dry mouth. Medications we take for common health issues can cause xerostomia as a side effect, too. If you have dry mouth, our dentist will review your health and family history to determine the underlying cause(s) of your symptoms.
Anything from an allergy medication to a condition like diabetes can contribute to dry mouth. This is why it’s important to discuss your health and medication history with our team at your next appointment.
The Effects of Dry Mouth
Even if an oral health condition isn’t to blame for one’s dry mouth, having dry mouth can negatively affect your oral health.
Soft tissue in the oral cavity needs to stay moist and when it is dried out, it can become inflamed and infected. In fact, dry mouth can accompany periodontal disease.
Dry mouth can also increase the development of surface debris on teeth because moisture and saliva naturally rinse teeth. An increase in surface debris puts people at risk for a host of problems including cavities.
Beyond isolating the underlying causes of dry mouth, there are some oral health-specific treatment options. Our team may recommend the use of over the counter mouth rinses designed to moisten oral tissue. The effects of dry mouth may require restorations and preventive treatments to strengthen teeth.
For additional information or to reserve an appointment, call us today at Newton Dental Group.