9 Symptoms That you Have Xerostomia
Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia is not a disease. This medical condition is simply the decrease flow or a change in the quality of your saliva in your mouth that fails to keep your mouth wet. Causes of xerostomia include: radiation during cancer therapy, autoimmune diseases such as Sjogren’s syndrome, scleroderma, lupus and diabetes, aging and the number one cause taking multiple medications.
Dry feeling in mouth and throat
Need to continually sip beverages, with only temporary relief from thirst
Burning sensation in the mouth
Tongue is dry and sore
Lips and corners of the mouth dry and cracked
Hard to swallow, chew or talk
Problems wearing your dentures
Getting more cavities
Without saliva to help fight oral bacteria there can be extensive tooth decay. You need to maximize salivary flow, keep your mouth wet to increase function and comfort and prevent tooth decay.
Q: How can I prevent from getting dry mouth?
A: Here is a list of ways to attempt to prevent and at least treat the effects of dry mouth:
1. Sugar-free gum and candies to stimulate saliva, no sugar products because they lead to tooth decay.
2. Lifestyle changes limit alcohol and caffeine consumption, eliminate tobacco use. But you can drink more water.
3. Don’t use alcohol base mouthwashes, alcohol in mouthwashes kills bacteria but dries out the mouth.
4. Change or limit when possible medicines that have the side effect of dry mouth. These include antihistamines, decongestants, and diuretics.
5. Use over the counter rinses and saliva substitute products to lubricate and moisturize.
6. New prescription-only relief sprays have been introduced to help relieve symptoms and are available from your dentist.
Dry mouth is not completely preventable or treatable. Treatment depends on the cause. Discuss treatment solutions with you dentist and dental hygienist. When present the best treatments only address the symptoms. Utilize the new dental products for maximum comfort, maintain good nutrition with proper chewing and swallowing and limit destruction of your teeth from decay with early treatment.