Dry Mouth Causes
Having a dry mouth can be annoying and uncomfortable and identifying the cause may help provide some relief for those who suffer from chronic xerostomia (dry mouth)
The Oral Cancer Foundation suggests that the leading cause of dry mouth is medication as more than 400 commonly used drugs can cause xerostomia. Namely anticholinergics, antihistamines, antipsychotics, antidepressants, anorexiants, antihypertensives, anti-Parkinson agents, diuretics and sedatives. These drugs affect the quantity and quality of saliva, however generally these effects are not permanent. Visit the Oral Cancer Foundation’s website for a full list of medications.
Acute dry mouth symptoms from radiation is due to an inflammatory reaction, and may resolve itself given ample time. Late xerostomia, which can occur up to one year after radiation therapy, results from fibrosis of the salivary gland and is usually permanent. Often times radiation results in a reduction in saliva and increased viscosity of the saliva. Patients may also report thick or sticky saliva.
Patients experiencing dry mouth from radiation therapy or cancer chemotherapy are at particular risk of infections from normal oral flora. The Oral Cancer Foundation goes into more detail on this condition.
Why Should I Be Concerned?
Dry Mouth Can Lead To Gum Disease
- The key to good oral health begins at home; brush and floss twice daily. Proper diet and nutrition are also essential in preserving a healthy mouth and healthy body too!
- Regular dentist visits are also important for the prevention of gum disease. Your dentist can remove tartar, which is plaque buildup that can irritate the gums and lead to tooth loss, dry mouth and bad breath. Seriously consider a visit to your dentist soon if you haven’t recently.
- If you’re a tobacco user, consider cutting back or stopping altogether. We know it’s never easy to break a habit even when we know it’s bad for us, but we only get one set of teeth and they’ll thank you for taking better care of them.
- If your dry mouth is caused by medication, talk with your medical professional about the possibility of changing medications. There may be alternatives you can take that may reduce the symptoms of your dry mouth.
Prevent Gum Disease
Dry mouth isn’t fun and can be especially prevalent in the winter or colder months, but we hope these tips will help lead you to a happier and healthier mouth. Also, keeping on top of your oral health and watching for signs of gum disease can benefit you in the long run. Early treatment of your gum disease can preserve your smile and teeth.
Your health matters to us. If you have any questions concerning this post or an issue you’re having with dry mouth, call us at (248) 357-3100 today. We’re always happy to hear from our awesome patients!
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.