General Family Dentistry Blog
Learn more about Preventative Care, Dental Treatments / Therapy, Cosmetic & Sedation Dentistry from Strathcona Dental Clinic Dentists, Your Dental Experts.
Treating Dry Mouth and Keeping Your Mouth Healthy
That dry, sticky feeling in the mouth affects everyone occasionally. But for some people, dry mouth is a chronic issue that can range from annoying to impacting a person’s dental health. The good news is at Strathcona Dental Clinic, we offer solutions to restore moisture to your mouth and help you maintain good oral health.
What Causes Dry Mouth?
The medical or technical term for dry mouth is xerostomia, and it occurs when the salivary glands do not produce an adequate flow of saliva. Symptoms include thick saliva, dryness in the throat and mouth and possibly taste changes.
It’s helpful to understand that dry mouth itself is not a disease. Instead, it is usually a side effect of medication or a symptom of a medical condition. For example, some antidepressants and antihistamines can cause oral dryness. Medical conditions, such as diabetes and Parkinson’s disease, can also cause dry mouth. Smoking and stress may also be a culprit.
Having a chronically dry mouth can lead to bad breath and also tooth decay. That’s because saliva serves a few important functions in your mouth. A moist mouth makes chewing and swallowing more comfortable. But that’s not all. Saliva also helps wash food particles away from your teeth and contains minerals that protect the teeth. When there is a lack of saliva, it puts you at a higher risk for plaque formation and developing gum disease.
It’s easy to see that treating dry mouth is important to maintain healthy teeth and gums. At our dental clinic in Edmonton, we can help. Dr. Abdul Wehbe and Dr. Barry Bergh will review your dental and health history to determine the cause of your dry mouth. Based on the cause, we’ll provide recommendations to treat the condition. Our comprehensive approach may include everything from at-home strategies to products that treat dry mouth. As always, treatment plans will be customized to meet individual patient needs.
For example, eliminating certain foods that may contribute to dry mouth and sucking on sugarless candy or chewing gum to increase saliva flow may be suggested. Products including dry mouth gel and antibacterial mouth rinses may also be treatment options. In some cases, in-office fluoride treatments and more frequent cleanings may also be recommended.