A reduction of saliva flow resulting in a dry mouth is a common issue, especially among older individuals.
Dry mouth is not only uncomfortable, it can cause tooth damage. Saliva is needed to keep the mouth lubricated, wash the food from teeth, and neutralize the acids that can cause plaque. Extensive decay can develop in the absence of saliva for dental patients with chronic dry mouth.
Symptoms of dry mouth
Dry mouth is a fairly common in adults and there are many different causes – here are some of the symptoms:
- Dry, red or grooved tongue
- Persistent sore throat or hoarseness
- Sticky feeling in the mouth
- Saliva that seems thick and stringy
- Bad breath
- Problems chewing, speaking and swallowing
- Changes in taste
- Difficulty wearing dentures (Mayo Clinic)
Contributing factors include medications and treatments, reduction in the body’s capacity to metabolize medication, chronic health dilemmas and poor nutrition.
For example, chemotherapy medication can cut down saliva production and radiation treatments to the head and neck can damage salivary glands, decreasing saliva production.
Other medical conditions include diabetes, stroke, or yeast infection in the mouth.
Decongestants, blood pressure medications, antidepressants, and painkillers (all used extensively in Carlsbad) are some of the medications that can lead to dry mouth.
It is common for allergy-prone La Costa Dental Excellence dental patients to complain of dry mouth when they start taking antihistamines during the hay fever season.
Causes of Dry Mouth
It’s not always easy to pinpoint why a person would have dry mouth, but here are some of the things that can contribute:
- Snoring or breathing through the mouth
- Drinking alcohol
- Tobacco use (cigarettes, e-cigarettes, chewing tobacco)
- Recreational drugs
If you are plagued with dry mouth, it’s important to pay special attention to your dental health. The first step is to talk to a professional. Call La Costa Dental Excellence to schedule an appointment with Doctor Stephen and Kimberly Dankworth.
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