Dry Mouth

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth, (Xerostomia,) is a serious condition which requires medical treatment.  In simple terms, dry mouth is a condition in which there is an abnormal dryness of the mouth.  It is as the result of a decrease in the saliva in your mouth.  Dry mouth is not considered a disease.  It is in fact a medical symptoms.  It can be a side of medications.  When the flow of saliva in inhibited or halted all together, it affects dental health.

The primary function of saliva is to defend your mouth from the ravages of tooth decay.  It is meant to keep the tissues in your mouth healthy.  Saliva clears away food and other particles in your mouth.   It also acts as a neutralizer against acids which are a result of bacteria.  Saliva also produces substances which fight diseases of the mouth.  This also means it is the first line in defense against disease producing microbes from reaching the rest of your body.

As a result of dry mouth, you can have persistent sore throat, a burning sensation in your mouth and throat.  You may also develop hoarseness and dry sinuses.  Often dry mouth can lead to trouble speaking and problems swallowing.   If you do not have saliva, wide-spread tooth decay can result.  Without saliva, extensive tooth decay can also occur.

There are some treatments you can try until your dental appointment.  They are as follows:  try sugar-free gum and candy as they produce saliva; decrease your caffeine intake as it is believed to make your mouth dryer; use alcohol-free mouthwash;  stop using tobacco; try over-the-counter treatments for dry mouth;  sip water frequently; try breathing through you nose rather than your mouth, (*unless you have a medical condition which prohibits you from doing so.)

You can also stop drinking alcohol, as well as avoiding sugar and acidic foods.  Further, use fluoride toothpaste and a fluoride rinse.  If all these fail, make an appointment with the dentist.  Dr. Rapoport will be able to treat a patient suffering from dry mouth with any number of treatments.

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