Many people suffer from a condition called Xerostomia or dry mouth. It can have a negative impact on your lifestyle and your health. If you have noticed a sticky, dry feeling in your mouth or have experienced trouble chewing, swallowing or even tasting your food, you may have this condition.
There are several potential causes for dry mouth. Among them are:
Medications – A side effect of many medications is dry mouth. Prescriptions or over the counter drugs for depression, anxiety, pain, allergies, acne, epilepsy, hypertension, diarrhea, nausea, psychotic disorders, urinary incontinence, asthma, muscle relaxants and sedatives can all cause xerostomia. With many Americans on medications for some issue or medical problem, this affects much of the population.
Medical conditions – People diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, diabetes, anemia, cystic fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure or Parkinson’s disease also experience the side effect of dry mouth.
Medical treatments – A side effect of medical treatments such as radiation for cancer can reduce the amount of saliva produced in the mouth.
So why is dry mouth a concern? Beside the fact that it is uncomfortable and can even affect the taste of your food, not having enough saliva in the mouth leads to dental complications. Saliva helps to break down food for digestion, which aids in the entire digestive process. Saliva also helps to cleanse the teeth. When a person has dry mouth, food and bacteria are more likely to stick to the tooth surfaces, leading to tooth decay and gum disease.
At Long Family Dental, we are always looking at your total medical history so we can treat your health, not just your mouth. If you have questions about any medication you are taking or any health condition you’ve experienced, or you just notice your mouth being more dry, please give us a call.