What Causes Dry Mouth and How to Get Rid of It?

What Causes Dry Mouth and How to Get Rid of It?

If your mouth constantly feels sticky or dry, you may have a condition called dry mouth, medically known as xerostomia. Dry mouth doesn’t mean you need to drink more water. In most cases, this condition is caused by underactive salivary glands.

Dr. Kamram Saidara and the team at Lancaster Dental Care Associates in Lancaster, California, have extensive experience diagnosing and treating dry mouth.

Here, they provide an overview of what causes this condition, which affects about 1 in 5 people, and what to do if you suspect you have it. 

Why so dry?

In addition to a dry mouth, most people with xerostomia experience other sensations, such as a pasty or sticky feeling in their mouth.

Usually, dry mouth is due to the salivary glands not producing enough lubrication. 

This can occur for a number of reasons, including:

Dry mouth isn’t a normal part of aging. However, you’re more apt to take medications that cause dry mouth as you age.

The importance of saliva

Saliva plays several critical roles in your mouth. Primarily, it neutralizes acids that bacteria produce and keeps bacteria growth in check. Saliva also hydrates and nourishes the soft tissues in your mouth, including your lips.

Saliva isn’t just a moisturizer, though. It aids in digestion. The salivary fluid contains enzymes that help with digestion. The liquidity of saliva also makes chewing and swallowing easier.

Complications of dry mouth

Left untreated, dry mouth can increase your risk for tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental issues. These include:

Resolving dry mouth typically requires professional treatment from your dentist.

Treating dry mouth

There are several treatment options. Medication may be prescribed that encourages salivation. Some patients benefit from overnight trays that deliver fluoride to their teeth to help protect them. Fluoride treatments can also be administered in our office.

If medication is the cause of your dry mouth, discuss alternatives with your prescribing physicians.

Over-the-counter mouth rinses, sprays, and xylitol gels can help relieve dry mouth, too. 

Be sure to protect your lips with high-quality lip balm and rinse your mouth frequently with water to keep the tissues inside well-hydrated. 

Dr. Saidara also recommends keeping water handy at all times and sipping it frequently throughout the day. 

Some products to avoid include caffeine, cigarettes, decongestants, and antihistamines.

For treatment of dry mouth and all of your oral healthcare needs, call  Lancaster Dental Care Associates at 661-215-8130 or request an appointment online today. 

 



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