Dry Mouth

Managing Dry Mouth

Dry mouth or xerostomia is a relatively common problem that isn’t just aggravating. It can cause oral health issues also. Saliva is an important component of keeping a healthy mouth because it helps us chew food into smaller pieces to swallow and wash food debris away. That prevents tooth decay.
A dry mouth occurs when the salivary glands, located in the mouth, aren’t producing enough saliva to keep the mouth wet. While it can be annoying, dry mouth can also affect whether people enjoy eating and that can affect nutritional health and other conditions.

What Causes Dry Mouth?

Dry mouth has many causes and it can vary from patient to patient. The most common reason for xerostomia is aging. It often happens with diabetic patients or those going through radiation or chemotherapy. Medicines, nerve damage, smoking or vaping, and mouth breathing at night or during exercise can also cause dry mouth.
Some conditions exist where the salivary glands simply don’t produce enough liquid without an bvious cause. This is something that needs to be diagnosed.


Everyone had a dry mouth once in a while. That is particularly true if you are dehydrated or anxious. However, it is unusual to have a chronic dry mouth. Xerostomia has specific symptoms including:
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Bad breath

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Sore throat

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Difficulty chewing or swallowing

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A change in your sense of taste

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A grooved tongue

A place to start medically when you have a dry mouth is either with your dentist or with your family doctor. Either one can offer solutions, depending on the cause. A dentist can also ensure your dry mouth doesn’t affect your oral health.

Are You At Risk?

Some people are more at risk for dry mouth than others. These include those receiving cancer treatments, diabetics, and those who have had strokes or are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or HIV/AIDS. Other risk factors include smoking, drinking alcohol, using street drugs, and eating an overabundance of sugary or acidic foods.

Seek a Medical Opinion

The only way to know how to manage dry mouth is to make an appointment with a dentist or doctor to find out the cause and whether it is damaging your teeth and gums. Make an appointment today and find relief from dry mouth!
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