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Do You Have Dry Mouth?

dry-mouth-dental-healthDry mouth, also known as Xerostomia, is a condition where there is reduced saliva in the mouth or a change in the composition of the saliva.  It may be difficult to recognize in mild cases or may become extremely uncomfortable in more severe cases.

Often times, you may not realize you have dry mouth but you adapt your activity to alleviate it, such as sipping water constantly or chewing gum.  Severe xerostomia can cause difficulties with speaking or swallowing, bad breath, cracked lips, and increased risk to tooth decay.

Dry mouth can have several causes, including medical conditions, medications, and sometimes, have no identifiable cause.

Medical conditions such Sjogren’s syndrome, diabetes, and permanent or partial facial nerve damage can contribute to dry mouth.  Radiation therapy involving the salivary glands can cause permanent damage and a resulting reduced flow.

Hundreds of very common medications can be the cause of a dry mouth.  Often times several are taken in combination, making the condition worse.  Medications such as antihistamines, anti-depressants, asthma inhalers (bronchodilators), heart medications and decongestants are just a few that can result in a mild to more severe dry mouth.

Left untreated, dry mouth can lead to rapid development of tooth decay and gum inflammation.  It is important that you see your dentist and dental hygienist regularly so that we may be able to evaluate your salivary flow and determine your risk of dry mouth complications. If you are diagnosed with Xerostomia, together with your medical doctor, we would work together to find the cause and  best solution.

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  1. […] Other causes include various medical conditions, such as diabetes, post-nasal drip, sinus congestion, bronchitis, and acid reflux. Several medications can cause dry mouth which would also enhance bad breath. (Learn more about Dry Mouth here) […]

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