Saliva contributes in preventing tooth decay by neutralising the acids produced by bacteria, limiting bacterial growth, and washing away food particles.
It also enhances your ability to taste and makes it easier to chew and swallow. Also, enzymes in saliva help in digestion.
Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is a condition in which the salivary glands in your mouth don’t make enough saliva to keep your mouth moist. It usually results as a side effect of certain medications, aging, as a result of radiation therapy for cancer patients, or behaviours. Dry mouth may also be caused by a condition that directly affects the salivary glands.
Decreased saliva production and dry mouth can range from being merely a nuisance to something that has a major impact on your overall and oral health, as well as your appetite and enjoyment of food.
Causes of Dry Mouth
The salivary glands may not work properly as the result of:
Medications. Several over-the-counter drugs produce dry mouth as a side effect. The types that cause problems are some of the drugs used to manage depression, high blood pressure and anxiety, and also some antihistamines, decongestants, muscle relaxants, and pain medications.
Aging. Older people are more likely to experience dry mouth. Factors including the use of certain medications, changes in the body’s ability to process medication, inadequate nutrition, and long-term health problems, contribute to its development.
Chemotherapy. Chemotherapy drugs can affect your salivary glands. Normal salivary flow may return after treatment is concluded. Radiation treatments can damage salivary glands, causing a decrease in the production of saliva.
Nerve damage. Dry mouth can result from an injury or surgery that causes nerve damage to your head and neck area.
Other health conditions. Dry mouth can be caused by certain health conditions, such as diabetes, stroke, yeast infection in your mouth, Alzheimer’s disease, or due to autoimmune diseases, like Sjogren’s syndrome or HIV/AIDS. Snoring and breathing with your mouth open can also contribute to dry mouth.
Unhealthy lifestyle. Drinking alcohol and smoking or chewing tobacco can increase your risk of dry mouth.
Recreational drug use. The use of methamphetamine can cause severe dry mouth and damage to teeth. Marijuana also can cause dry mouth.
Sign and Symptoms of Dry Mouth
If you don’t produce enough saliva, you may notice these signs and symptoms all or most of the time:
- Dryness or stickiness in your mouth
- Thick and stringy saliva
- Bad breath
- Difficulty in chewing, speaking, and swallowing
- Dry or sore throat and hoarseness
- Dry or grooved tongue
- A changed sense of taste
- Problems wearing dentures
Also, dry mouth may result in lipstick sticking to the teeth.
Dry Mouth Treatment At DonEast Supreme Dental
If there are dental issues causing dry mouth, and there are in most cases, your Doncaster East dentist can start treating the cause of the problem with dental services available in our clinic.
Visit your trusted Doncaster East dentist today!
We are located near Tunstall Square Shopping Centre and offer on-site parking for our patients. Easily accessible via public transportation (bus stop within walking distance).
Doncaster East dentist also serves local communities in Templestowe, Balwyn North, Doncaster, Doncaster Heights, Donvale, Mont Albert North, Box Hill, Box Hill North, Kerrimuir, Blackburn North, Forest Hill, Nunawading, and Brentford Square.
GAP FREE for New Patients!
(with any health insurance)
- Same day emergency appointments are available upon request
- Offer payment plan such as Dentacare and Mysmileplan
- All insurances are accepted with HICAPS. As a preferred provider for Bupa (Platinum), NIB and CBHS
We are located near Tunstall Square Shopping Centre and offer on site parking for our patients.
Easily accessible via public transportation (bus stop within walking distance)