Dry Mouth Syndrome

WHAT’S THE SCOOP ON DRY MOUTH?

If you have it, you know it, Dry Mouth.

It’s more than being thirsty – you need to wet your whistle and there just isn’t enough saliva in your mouth to do that. Your mouth feels sticky and dry, all the time. To top it off, you know you have bad breath and nothing seems to help.

  • Xerostomia is the medical term for Dry Mouth Syndrome, a common health issue that results from a lack of saliva.
  • Saliva is critical to your oral health because it produces several enzymes that help you digest food and keep bacteria in your mouth in check.
  • When you suffer from dry mouth, the skin around your mouth and lips is dry and tight. Your lips may crack and your tongue may feel rough and dry; the corners of your mouth may crack.
  • Dry mouth may make your voice harsh and you may have a constant tickle in your throat. You may also experience difficulty wearing dentures, have a metallic or bitter taste in your mouth, have chronic bad breath, and experience difficulty speaking or eating.
  • Your symptoms may worsen at night because saliva flow normally decreases with sleep.
  • Sometimes, dry mouth exists side by side with mucositis and stomatitis, both of which involve inflammation of the soft tissues in the mouth. 

Factors contributing to dry mouth may include:

  • Advancing age
  • Anxiety
  • Mouth breathing
  • Smoking or using smokeless tobacco
  • Autoimmune conditions like HIV or Sjogren’s syndrome or some cancer treatments
  • Use of certain medications such as antihistamines and some antidepressants

Unfortunately, you can experience problems with your teeth if you suffer from dry mouth.   Without the action of saliva, tooth decay can be much more progressive. 

What helps?

  • Ge regular dental check-ups
  • Brush and floss daily
  • Use an alcohol-free mouthwash
  • Sip water throughout the day
  • Sucking on sugar-free candy or gum

If you are experiencing the symptoms of dry mouth and would like to discuss your concerns with Dr. Goldberg, call for a consultation today at (973) 328-1225