Saliva plays an important role in oral health and without it both dental and health problems can occur. If the salivary glands aren’t producing the necessary amount of saliva, it can result in an uncomfortable condition called dry mouth. When you visit a skilled Long Island cosmetic dentist at Smiles on Broadway, we can address the dental problems caused by dry mouth, and help alleviate the painful symptoms of dry mouth as well.
Causes of Dry Mouth
Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, has several causes. Common causes of dry mouth include:
- A side effect of some prescription and over-the-counter medications.
- Smoking or the use of chewing tobacco.
- A side effect of certain diseases and infections, including diabetes, Sjögren’s syndrome, HIV/AIDS, and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Removal of the salivary glands.
Symptoms of Dry Mouth
There are several symptoms associated with dry mouth. While dry mouth symptoms result in only minor discomfort for some patients, others are affected much more severely. Symptoms of dry mouth frequently reported by patients are:
- Frequent thirst
- A dry, sticky feeling in the mouth
- A dry, sore throat
- Bad breath
- A raw, red, dry tongue
- Dry, tender nasal passages
- Sores in the mouth
- Dry, cracked skin and sores at the corners of the mouth
Dental Problems and Dry Mouth
For many patients, dry mouth is a very uncomfortable condition. The symptoms alone are a source of problems and can cause pain and irritation, especially when aggravated. In addition, dry mouth leaves patients vulnerable to other serious dental problems. Dry mouth can make wearing dentures very difficult. Dry mouth also increases the risk of developing gum disease, tooth decay, and oral infections such as thrush. Saliva is a natural defense against bacteria and food particles in the mouth, so insufficient saliva production can increase the risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease. When tooth decay has caused damage, a porcelain dental crown will repair the function of the tooth with natural-looking results. At Smiles on Broadway, we’ve successfully restored the smiles of our Long Island dental crowns patients.
Dry Mouth Treatments
The American Dental Association recommends the following treatment tips to patients:
- Visit a dentist regularly so that symptoms and dental problems resulting from dry mouth can be addressed.
- If dry mouth is the result of a medication, talk to your doctor.
- Stay hydrated, and take frequent sips of water to alleviate dryness.
- Sugar-free gum or sugar-free candy can help stimulate saliva production.
- Try over-the-counter artificial saliva.
- Use an alcohol-free oral rinse.
- Limit your consumption of carbonated beverages, caffeine, and alcohol.
- Practice good oral hygiene to reduce bacteria in your mouth and on your teeth.
Contact Smiles on Broadway for More Information
If you’d like to learn more about dry mouth or any of our advanced dental treatments, please contact our Long Island cosmetic dentistry center and schedule a consultation at your convenience. Our caring staff is looking forward to providing you with superior dental care.