Definition

Known by its medical term, xerostomia (zeer-oh-stoh-mee-ah), dry mouth is when you do not have enough saliva to keep your mouth wet and moisturized.

Signs & Symptoms

Everyone’s mouth feels dry from time to time. It’s when this feeling doesn’t go away that you may have a problem producing saliva. Symptoms of dry mouth include:

  • A sticky, dry feeling in the mouth or throat
  • Trouble chewing, swallowing, tasting or speaking
  • A burning feeling in the mouth
  • A dry, rough tongue
  • Cracked lips
  • More frequent tooth decay
  • Mouth sores
  • Bad breath

+ The Facts about Dry Mouth

Prevention

There are a number of steps you can take to help minimize dry mouth, including:

  • Sipping water or sugarless drinks often and during meals
  • Avoiding drinks with caffeine, such as coffee, tea, and some sodas
  • Professional recommendation for oral care products that will assist in moisturizing the mouth
  • Chew sugarless gum or suck on sugarless hard candy to stimulate saliva flow citrus, cinnamon or mint-flavored candies are good choices
  • Avoid tobacco or alcohol, which tend to dry out the mouth
  • Minimize spicy or salty foods, which may cause pain in a dry mouth
  • Avoid sugar and acidic foods
  • Using a humidifier at night

Treatment

Dry mouth treatment depends on what is causing the problem. If you think you have dry mouth, see your dentist or physician to determine the cause.

  • If your dry mouth is caused by medicine, your physician might change your medicine or adjust the dosage.
  • If your salivary glands are not working right but can still produce some saliva, your physician or dentist might give you an over-the-counter or prescription medicine that enable stimulation of more saliva.
  • Your physician or dentist might suggest that you use artificial saliva to keep your mouth wet.

Complications

If dry mouth happens all or most of the time, however, it can be uncomfortable – and may have serious consequences for your oral health. Drying irritates the soft tissues in the mouth, which can make them inflamed and more susceptible to infection. Without the cleansing effects of saliva, tooth decay and other oral health issues become much more common. It is important that you take good care of your teeth and gums. Brush twice a day, and floss or use an interdental cleaner once a day to remove dental plaque and food debris from between the teeth where your toothbrush cannot reach.

Dry mouth got you feeling parched?

Dry mouth can leave your mouth feeling dry and irritated. Try one of our toothpastes formulated to help prevent the occurrence of dry mouth symptoms after brushing.

Dry mouth got you feeling parched?

Dry mouth can leave your mouth feeling dry and irritated. Try our mouthrinse formulated to help prevent the occurrence of dry mouth symptoms after brushing and before meals.

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