Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is a very common symptom of many types of medical conditions and a side effect to a variety of medications. It is defined as dry mouth that is a result from reduced or absent saliva flow. Though it is generally found in older adults (who are more likely to have to take medications), it is not age-related. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation’s website, people with xerostomia will often complain that they have difficulty eating, speaking, swallowing and wearing dentures. Dry, crumbly foods, like cereals and crackers, are particularly difficult to chew and swallow. It can also be uncomfortable to consume products like caffeine, alcohol, and cigarettes, which make the symptoms of the condition even worse. Fortunately, regular visits to Foothill Dental Care in Livermore for routine teeth cleaning can help you better recognize and treat the condition.
Ideally, the management of xerostomia starts with identifying the underlying cause. For many patients, however, little can be done to alter the underlying cause, especially if it stems from medication use. Other causes include:
- Cancer treatment:Radiation and chemotherapy to the head and neck can damage the salivary glands, which can result in lessened saliva production.
- Injury or surgery
- Exercising or playing in the heat:The salivary glands may become dry as bodily fluids are concentrated elsewhere in the body.
- Health conditions: These include anxiety disorders, depression, HIV/AIDS, snoring, uncontrolled diabetes, and stroke.
(This information was compiled from information provided by https://www.medicalnewstoday.com)
The reduction of saliva flow can cause problems in your ability to taste, chew, swallow, and speak. Over time, the lack of saliva can increase your chances of developing dental decay, demineralization of teeth, tooth sensitivity, and in some cases, oral infections. To learn more about how you can relieve your dry mouth, contact Foothill Dental Care in Livermore at (925) 961-5484 to schedule an appointment today. A great smile begins with a healthy mouth. Call Foothill Dental Care today.