As its moniker might indicate, dry mouth occurs when the mouth’s concentration and production of the important fluid known as saliva declines.
Dry mouth could be the result of numerous causes, such as the aging process, various illnesses like systemic infections or autoimmune disorders, injury to the head, mouth, or neck, cigarette smoking, excessive alcohol intake, and the ingestion of specific medications.
The most obvious physical manifestation afflicted individuals will experience is a dry, sticky mouth. However, the condition might additionally precipitate other symptoms, including bad breath, dryness on the tongue, a diminished or altered sense of taste, difficulty chewing or speaking, and possibly even a sore throat or hoarseness.
If not properly managed, dry mouth could precipitate more significant concerns, such as:
Increased Infections Risk
Saliva plays a crucial role in eliminating pathogens like bacteria from the oral cavity. Reduced saliva concentrations enable microbes to thrive, which could result in potentially serious dental infections.
Declining saliva levels also heighten one’s risk of tooth decay. Saliva is needed to execute the proper breakdown of food. When one’s mouth is exceedingly dry, collections of food and pathogens form to create detrimental materials like plaque and tartar. These difficult to remove substances contribute to cavities and gum disease.
Dryness often precipitates a rawness inside the mouth that could lead to sores on the cheeks, gums, and tongue. These openings are often not only painful but could become infected.
Eventually, tooth decay and gum disease could render chewing and food consumption challenging. Said circumstances might result in serious nutritional deficiencies.
Potential Treatment Options
Naturally, treatment will depend on the underlying cause. However, certain universal therapies often produce positive outcomes including the use of mouth moisturizing products and saliva-stimulating agents. In mild to moderate cases, chewing gum and increasing one’s water intake might stimulate increase saliva concentrations.
The experienced, professional, and community-minded team of oral care providers employed at Studio B Smiles urges our patients to never ignore dry mouth. Should said condition continue for many than a few days, professional evaluation and treatment is warranted.
For more information about this topic or to schedule a consultation, please visit http://studiobsmiles.com/.