Xerostomia or dry mouth occurs when your mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva. It can have a significant effect on your daily life and oral health if it’s not treated and managed early. Dry mouth makes it difficult to chew, swallow, taste, and speak. It also increases the risk of dental cavities and decay. Saliva is 98 percent water, but it also contains antibacterial compounds, electrolytes and enzymes needed for oral health. Saliva helps your mouth stay healthy by keeping it moist and comfortable, and helping you chew and swallow. Without saliva you can’t fight the germs and bacteria in your mouth.
Some of the conditions associated with dry mouth are asthma, depression, diabetes, hypertension and Sjogern’s syndrome. A lot of these patients are on medications that produce dry mouth as a side effect. Cancer therapies can alter the nature and amount of saliva produced, too. The common symptoms associated with dry mouth are that the mouth and throat feel dry and sticky, the ongoing need to drink to quench thirst with only temporary relief, difficulty speaking or swallowing, dry cracked lips, bad breath, burning sensation, rough tongue, and increased amount of tooth decay. If these symptoms sound familiar you should contact us so we can evaluate your dry mouth and protect your teeth from cavities. We can discuss treatment solutions to relieve your dry mouth and protect your oral health.