What Is Dry Mouth?
Also called Xerostomia, Dry mouth is the feeling that there is not enough saliva in your mouth. Dry mouth can occur if you’re nervous, or under stress. But if you have a dry mouth more frequently, it can cause constant discomfort and can lead to other health problems.
Common Symptoms of Dry Mouth:
- A dry sensation in the mouth and throat
- Persistent thirst
- Sores around and in the mouth
- Trouble chewing, swallowing, tasting, or speaking
- Burning in the mouth or throat
- Cracked lips
Why Is Dry Mouth Dangerous?
Saliva neutralizes the acids from bacteria in the mouth, the foods you eat, and the beverages you drink. It also makes chewing and swallowing easier and aids digestion. When your mouth is dry, the acids in your mouth are more concentrated and are more likely to cause issues in your mouth, like tooth decay and gum disease.
Dry mouth can also create the perfect environment for germs to breed, which can easily cause bad breath and swelling of the tongue and the gums.
Without enough saliva, your teeth can become weaker and vulnerable to damage.
Dry Mouth in Children
Though not as much as adults, children and young adults can be impacted by dry mouth. Some of the most common causes of dry mouth in children are excess fluid loss especially when undergoing sickness such as the flu or during hot summer weather. Breathing through the mouth is also a common cause for dry mouth.
Dry Mouth in Adults
Dry mouth is most common among adults. In addition to the same causes as children, Some factors that may also cause dry mouth in adults would be medications for high blood pressure, allergies, colds, the flu, and Parkinson’s disease.
Dry Mouth in Older Adults
Dry mouth among seniors and older adults are the most likely than any other demographic since they are more likely to have illnesses and take medications that can trigger the condition compared to younger Canadians.
Treatment for Dry Mouth
Regardless of your age, some simple habits can help improve the flow of saliva in your mouth.
Chew gum: Mints and gum maintain a good flow of saliva in your mouth. Choose sugar-free mints and gum with strong natural flavours!
Stay Hydrated: This one’s obvious, you should keep a water bottle near you at all times.
Fruits and Vegetables are Key: Nutritious fruits and vegetables are a good idea when it comes to easing your hunger pains. These foods are healthy, and filled with water, which is good for dry mouth.
Avoid salty foods: Salty foods, including fried foods and canned foods are often high in sodium and can dry out your mouth.
Breathe through your nose: Breathing through the mouth dries out the mouth. If your nose is too congested for easy breathing, try clearing it with a saline nasal spray.
If you reside in the St. Catherines area, and you are struggling with dry mouth, don’t hesitate to give Dr. Vlahos a call at (905) 937-4673 to schedule an appointment and begin treatment for your crossbite. The sooner the better!