Are you feeling the effects of dry mouth?
It’s normal for your mouth to feel dry sometimes. But when a glass of water doesn’t cure it and the feeling persists and becomes constant or frequent, there may be an issue. Dry mouth could be a symptom of something more serious.
If you are worried about your dry mouth in Plano, TX, contact our office for a consultation (972) 964-3774
Dry mouth can also lead to bad breath, which is something you probably want to avoid.
Related: What causes bad breath?
What is dry mouth?
The medical term for dry mouth is xerostomia (zeer-oh-stoh-mee-ah). Xerostomia or dry mouth is a condition when you do not have enough saliva in your mouth to keep it wet or moisturized. It can be uncomfortable, and if it is ongoing, it could by a symptom of other issues.
Symptoms of dry mouth
- Your tongue feels dry or tough
- You have a very dry feeling in your mouth and/or throat
- You feel a sensation of burning on your tongue
- You have trouble chewing, swallowing, tasting or speaking
- Cracked lips
- Bad breath
- Sores in your mouth
- Gum irritation
Related: How to treat gum disease
Potential causes of dry mouth
- Dehydration – Dehydration is a common cause. If dehydration is causing your dry mouth, it is a simple matter of rehydrating yourself with water or other fluids.
- Gum disease – Dry mouth could be a symptom of tooth decay or gum disease. This is an instance where you should contact your dentist.
- Cigarettes, alcohol or caffeine – Smoking can slow down your saliva production. Alcohol can dehydrate you, dry out your mouth and aggravate symptoms.
- Medications – Dry mouth is a common side effect of hundreds of medications, including antihistamines, decongestants, painkillers, diuretics, blood pressure medications, antidepressiants, and cancer medications. If medication may be causing you uncomfortable dry mouth, speak with your doctor.
- Medical conditions – Dry mouth could be caused by a more serious medical condition. It could be caused by diabetes, depression, Sjögren’s syndrome or Parkinson’s disease, among others.
Related: What are the signs of gum disease?
Treating dry mouth
The solution to your dry mouth symptoms will be dependent on what is causing it. Hopefully, it will be a simple matter of drinking more water.
If your dry mouth is a symptom of tooth decay or dry mouth, make sure you are taking care of your teeth, brushing at least twice daily, and flossing daily. Visit your dentist for tooth decay treatments and to see if there are treatments to reverse your gum disease.
If you believe your dry mouth is not caused by dehydration, smoking, alcohol, or dental health, you should contact your doctor for more information.