We all need saliva to moisten and cleanse our mouths and digest food. Saliva also prevents infection by controlling bacteria and fungi in the mouth.
When you don’t make enough saliva, your mouth gets dry and uncomfortable. Fortunately, many treatments can help against dry mouth, also called xerostomia.
Common symptoms include:
- A sticky, dry feeling in the mouth
- Frequent thirst
- Sores in the mouth, sores or split skin at the corners of the mouth, and cracked lips
- A dry feeling in the throat
- A burning or tingling sensation in the mouth and especially on the tongue
- A dry, red, raw tongue
- Problems speaking or trouble tasting, chewing, and swallowing
- Hoarseness, dry nasal passages, sore throat
- Bad breath
Besides causing the symptoms mentioned above, dry mouth also raises your risk of gingivitis, tooth decay, and mouth infections, such as thrush. Dry mouth can also make it hard to wear dentures.
How Is Dry Mouth Treated?
If you think your dry mouth is caused by certain medication you’re taking, talk to your doctor. The doctor may adjust the dose you’re taking or switch you to a different drug that doesn’t cause dry mouth.
Your dentist may also prescribe an oral rinse to restore mouth moisture. If that doesn’t help, he or she may prescribe a medication that boosts saliva production.
Dr. Sharon Robinson DDS is located at 6738 W. Sunrise Blvd. Ste 105, Plantation, FL.