WHAT IS DRY MOUTH?
Dry mouth is a condition in which there is inadequate flow of saliva in the mouth. This condition is not a disease, but rather occurs as the result of certain medical conditions and medication side-effects. Chronic dry mouth can lead to hoarseness, issues swallowing, trouble speaking, sore throat, and/or a burning sensation. When left untreated, it can lead to oral health issues associated with reduced saliva.
WHY WOULD TREATMENT FOR DRY MOUTH BE NEEDED?
Saliva is the mouth’s natural defense against tooth decay, as it washes away debris, neutralizes acids produced by bacteria of the mouth, and contains substances which help the mouth fight disease. Without enough saliva, the body’s natural defenses against disease-causing bacteria are reduced, which can lead to overgrowth of the harmful microbes. When left untreated, these bacteria can cause decay, gum disease, and other issues.
WHO IS A CANDIDATE FOR DRY MOUTH TREATMENT?
If you are prescribed or regularly take diuretics, pain killers, antihistamines, decongestants, or other medications that cause dry mouth, treatment may be beneficial to you. Also, if you have a disorder, such as Sjögren’s syndrome, which affects the amount of saliva your glands produce, you may find this treatment helpful. Management of this condition can help prevent oral health issues.
WHAT IS INVOLVED IN DRY MOUTH TREATMENT?
You will start by having a consultation with Dr. Galligan, in which she will go over all your medications and your medical history to determine the best treatment options for you. Dr. Galligan will recommend different treatment options, which may include over-the-counter mouthwashes and saliva substitutes, and give you guidance on how to best address the issue. It will be important for you to come in for your bi-annual cleanings and check-ups so she can ensure decay is not forming in the mouth.
If you struggle with dry mouth and would like to schedule a consultation, contact us today so that one of our friendly team members can help you further.