Once in a while, you might experience dry mouth when you’re nervous, upset or stressed – and that’s completely normal. But if you experience dry mouth regularly, it can become uncomfortable and cause difficulties in tasting, chewing, swallowing and speaking.
What Causes Dry Mouth?
A dry mouth occurs when you don’t have enough saliva or spit in your mouth to keep it moist. Saliva helps us digest food, prevent tooth decay and infection, and make it easier to chew and swallow. Several reasons could cause a lack of saliva in your mouth:
- Side effects of medication - over four hundred medicines can cause dry mouth, including pain killers and medicine for high blood pressure and depression.
- Disease - diseases like diabetes, Sjogrens Syndrome and Parkinson’s disease can lead to dry mouth.
- Radiation therapy - the salivary glands exposed to radiation during cancer treatment can be damaged.
- Chemotherapy - drugs used to treat cancer can thicken the saliva, causing the mouth to feel dry.
- Nerve damage - injury to the head or neck can damage the salivary gland.
Signs Of Dry Mouth
Anyone’s mouth can feel dry from time to time. It’s when the condition is constant that shows you may have a problem with saliva production. Some symptoms of dry mouth can include:
- A sticky, dry feeling in the mouth
- Trouble chewing, swallowing, tasting or speaking
- A burning feeling in the mouth
- A dry feeling in the throat
- Cracked lips
- Mouth sores
- An infection in the mouth
Dry Mouth Treatment
If your dry mouth is caused by medication, your doctor may change your prescription or adjust the dosage. If your salivary glands aren't working properly, a doctor may prescribe a medicine to help the glands work better.
In the meantime, you can also:
- Sip water regularly
- Avoid drinks with caffeine, such as coffee, tea, and some soft drinks
- Chew sugarless gum or suck on sugarless hard candy to stimulate saliva flow
- Stop using tobacco or alcohol
- Use a humidifier at night
If you're unsure of what’s causing your dry mouth, book a consultation with our dental professionals at Kildonan Crossing Dental Centre today. They’re ready to guide you and help alleviate any discomfort and pain in your mouth.
We’re located in Transcona, at the corner of Lagimodiere Boulevard and Regent Avenue. See you soon!