Dry mouth is a medical condition that causes a significant decrease in saliva production. Saliva helps to wash away food particles and bacteria after you eat. Chronic dry mouth can cause chronic bad breath and increases your chance of developing tooth decay. There are several possible causes of dry mouth. Identifying the underlying source is critical to finding an effective solution.
It’s not uncommon for certain medications to cause dry mouth as a side effect. In a situation like this you should talk to your doctor about your options. While you should still take your medication, there are a few daily habits to keep in mind to help reduce the problem. This includes sipping water frequently, chewing sugar-free gum and reducing salt intake in your diet.
Regular tobacco use and abusing alcohol can also dry out oral tissues. The tar and other chemicals from using tobacco can impede natural saliva production. While alcohol is a diuretic that robs the body of fluids. If you use alcohol or tobacco on a regular basis you should talk to your physician about a cessation or rehabilitation program.
Oral and pharyngeal cancer are very serious conditions that can cause a reduction in saliva production. If you notice dry mouth associated with swelling in your mouth, neck or throat you should seek medical attention to confirm the diagnosis and discuss possible treatment options.
If you have questions or concerns about chronic dry mouth, please call us at 818-558-4332 to schedule an appointment.