In an earlier post, we discussed the causes of dry mouth and how it can adversely affect your oral health. In this post, you can read more about the symptoms of the condition, also known as xerostomia. You can also discover more about your treatment options. Of course, the best way to determine which treatment is right for you is to schedule an appointment with your general dentist. Remember, it is very important to seek treatment for the condition, since it can lead to decay, gum disease, and bad breath.
Symptoms of Dry Mouth
A cottony, dry feeling is the most common and noticeable symptom of xerostomia. However, the condition can cause an array of additional symptoms. If you notice any of the following side effects, you may be suffering from dry mouth:
- Unusually thick saliva
- Chronic bad breath
- Changed sense of taste
- Problems chewing or speaking
- Gum irritation
- Ill-fitting dentures
- Sores inside your mouth and especially at the corners of your lips
- Dry, cracked lips
- A dry throat and/or hoarseness
- Constant thirst
- Dry nasal passages
Treatment for Xerostomia
Be prepared to discuss any and all symptoms at your consultation. The most effective treatment for you will depend on the causes and severity of your dry mouth. Treatment options include:
- Medications: Because xerostomia is often a side effect of certain medications, changing your medicine may be one of the most effective ways to relieve your condition. Additionally, there are several prescriptions that can stimulate saliva production. These include pilocarpine and cevimeline.
- Moisturizers: Of course, changing medications is not always possible. Your dentist may also prescribe a rinse, mouth moisturizer, or artificial saliva. Over-the-counter products are also available.
- Drinking more water: Increasing your water intake can help to relieve your symptoms, especially when combined with more aggressive treatments. It can also help to clean your mouth, substituting for some of your missing saliva.
- Lifestyle changes: If you are a mouth breather, your dentist may provide tips on breaking this habit and learning to breathe through your nose. Additionally, using a humidifier in your home can help relieve your symptoms, especially if you have dry nasal passages or a chronic sore throat.
- Added protection for your teeth: Because decreased saliva can increase your risk for cavities, your dentist may recommend fluoride supplements to strengthen your teeth and help fight against decay.
ABOUT YOUR NORTH RICHLAND HILLS FAMILY DENTIST:
With over 25 years of professional experience, Dr. Steven M. Huffstutler and his caring team proudly provide exceptional preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dental treatment to patients and their families across Dallas/Ft. Worth, including North Richland Hills, Denton, the Mid-cities, Southlake, and all surrounding communities. We also have extensive experience helping patients find relief from painful TMJ disorders (various forms of jaw dysfunction). To schedule an appointment with Dr. Huffstutler, contact our office today by calling 817-577-1444.