Posted on 1/30/2019 by Roberta Cerveny, DDS
|Dry mouth is a condition that results from a decreased volume of saliva from the salivary glands. It is also known as Xerostomia and is usually a symptom of underlying problems, rather than a disease in itself.
Dry mouth affects about 10% of the population with the condition being more prevalent in women than in men. It's causes range from prescription medications, to some medical treatments, to certain autoimmune diseases.
Until the condition occurs, most people do not consider the numerous roles that saliva plays in keeping the mouth healthy. In a healthy individual, saliva operates in the following ways:
Dry mouth most commonly occurs as a side effect of medications of which there are about 400, including high blood pressure medications, antihistamines, antidepressants, steroids, amphetamines, and many others. The dry mouth can go away, but usually continues as long as the drug is in use. Other causes include dehydration, radiation treatments, salivary gland diseases, removal of salivary glands, diabetes, smoking, and hormonal imbalances.
When your mouth dries out, it can increase the growth of bacteria in the mouth, which means the plaque on your teeth builds up more quickly, leaving you at higher risk of tooth decay. You could also lose out on the benefits that come from the protective proteins in your saliva.
This means your teeth are not able to reabsorb the minerals they need to stay strong as easily. This could put you at risk for oral thrush, which is a painful, fungal infection that can lead to issues with tasting and swallowing, and problems with bad breath.
If you suspect that you are experiencing this condition, the best avenue for relief would be to contact a healthcare professional. We take great pride in giving our clients a perfect smile, get in touch with us today!