Xerostomia, pronounced ZEER-oh-STOH-mee-ah and more commonly known as dry mouth, causes gum disease and eventual tooth loss in about 30 percent of adults, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation. Twenty percent of our seniors also have dry mouth syndrome.
You may have experienced a little dry mouth at night, evidenced by morning breath, while succumbing to an illness or while undergoing medical or pharmaceutical treatment for one sickness or another. Hopefully these temporary trials passed without serious consequences.
But if you suffer from chronic xerostomia, you should seek professional help. Here's some information on what causes dry mouth in the first place and why you need to drown your xerostomia problem in a ready supply of saliva:
Defining Dry Mouth: It’s Not a Disease
Xerostomia may sound tragic, but in reality, it's merely a symptom of something else happening in your metabolism. What causes dry mouth? Triggers range from the trivial to the dangerously serious.
Dry mouth at night may come from snoring due to sleep apnea or sinusitis. Other causes of dry mouth are candidiasis (oral yeast infections); certain herbal remedies and vitamins; tobacco use; alcohol abuse; salt stones accumulating in the salivary glands, diseases like oral cancer, Sjögren's Syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis; or simply not drinking enough water and habitual mouth-breathing.
What causes dry mouth also include treatments like radiation (which may cause permanent xerostomia) and chemotherapy (usually causes temporary dry mouth), as well as a wide range of pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter (OTC) medications.
Add to this marching list other causes of dry mouth in the psychological category - like depression, anxiety, stress and fear. (And let's not forget temporary dry mouth when someone you like smiles at you a certain way!)
Spit-Deficient Symptoms of Dry Mouth
So how do you know if you have dry mouth? Look for the following:
What to Expect of Your Expectorant
Expect great things!
The idea of expectorating (spitting) gets some people spitting mad, but saliva carries antibacterials, physically washes your teeth and gums, remineralizes your mouth and keeps everything comfortably moist. Dry mouth syndrome, on the other hand, leaves you susceptible to sore throats, gum diseases, cavities, infections and more. Dry mouth also hinders your digestion.
Dental Dealings for Dry Mouth
You might need to see your doctor to combat dry mouth syndrome if you think xerostomia comes from a medical condition. Remember to bring a list of all OTC and prescribed medications, vitamins and other remedies whether you think they are actual causes of dry mouth or not.
Or you might see a dentist in the first place, especially if you suspect you have an oral infection like an abscess or candidiasis causing dry mouth.
Either way, you'll need to visit your dentist if you have dry mouth for a long period of time, to clean up oral damage. Though the causes of dry mouth syndrome may come from some other problem, long- term disease may generate in your gums and teeth.
We can help you find expert dental care to help relieve you of dry mouth quickly. A dentist can recommend many treatments for dry mouth of a dental or medicinal nature.
If you don't have a dentist, please let us know by calling 1-866-970-0441.