Facts About Dry Mouth and How to Cope

Many people will experience dry mouth occasionally, most often because they are dehydrated or have slept with their mouth open. For others, dry mouth is a more persistent problem that can affect everyday life and cause unpleasant side-effects. It can reach such a stage where people feel less confident when eating or speaking with others in social situations. An estimated one in four adults suffer from dry mouth, and this condition is more common in aged over 55.

Quick Facts about Dry Mouth

  • Dry mouth is called xerostomia in Newcastle and is where you don’t produce enough saliva, so your mouth feels abnormally dry.
  • Your mouth needs a good saliva supply to cleanse it and neutralize the acids produced by dental plaque. Saliva helps to break down food so you can swallow it more easily.
  • When you don’t have enough saliva, it can make it harder to eat dry foods, and they may not taste as good.
  • Without enough saliva, speech is more difficult, and there is an increased risk of bad breath.
  • Usually, dry mouth is worse at night because you produce less saliva during sleep.
  • Xerostomia in Clarington can increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Dry mouth is often a side-effect of medication, especially those taken for blood pressure, depression and heart problems.
  • Dry mouth may also be a side-effect of a medical condition such as Sjogren’s syndrome or diabetes.
  • Women are more at risk of developing dry mouth compared with men.

Although there may be no way to prevent dry mouth, there are many things that can ease the symptoms.

How to Cope with Dry Mouth

If you are concerned about having dry mouth in Courtice, we can help you here at West Bowmanville Family Dental. With dry mouth, the risk of tooth decay and gum disease is higher, and these issues can worsen more quickly, so make sure you visit us regularly for dental checkups and hygiene appointments. We can assess your oral health and your risk of developing dental disease and provide you with a suitable preventative dental care plan. Dental hygiene visits are very important as our hygiene team will remove all plaque and hardened plaque (tartar), reducing your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Most people need to have their teeth cleaned professionally every six months, but sometimes we recommend more frequent cleanings to help prevent dental disease.

Using fluoride toothpaste to brush at least twice daily can help prevent tooth decay, and we can advise you on suitable toothpaste brands to try. Some people with xerostomia find that toothpaste containing sodium laurel sulphate irritates the mouth and makes this condition worse.

You can buy over-the-counter products to help moisten your mouth, and these saliva substitutes are usually available in the form of gel is or sprays. Some may have additional ingredients to help prevent dental problems. There are also special products available that can help you maintain a good oral care routine at home, such as mouth rinses. We can always discuss which products might help you best.

Some people find chewing sugar-free gum helpful, which encourages saliva flow. It can be a good idea to chew gum after meals because the increased saliva flow will help wash away excess bacteria and loose food particles, restoring a normal pH more quickly.

Make sure you drink plenty of water to remain well hydrated. You might also find it useful to suck sugar-free candies. It is important to choose sugar-free products as eating sugar when you have dry mouth can increase your risk of cavities.

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