Dry mouth is a condition in which your salivary glands don’t produce enough saliva, leaving you with a persistent dry feeling in your mouth. If you experience this, be sure to tell us at the Mt. Vernon Center for Dentistry in Alexandria.
The medical term for dry mouth is xerostomia, which is pronounced zero-STOE-me-uh. It’s a common side effect of certain medications, and is also common in people who are undergoing radiation treatment for cancer. It’s also caused by a condition of the salivary glands themselves, but that is less common.
There are hundreds of different medications that list dry mouth as a side effect. These include prescription drugs, and over-the-counter medicine. Antihistamines, decongestants, and pain medications may cause it, as well as many other drugs.
Dry mouth is also common in older people. Older people are often taking more medication than they did when younger. The body isn’t always as efficient in processing these medications as it once was.
Tobacco and alcohol use can also bring on symptoms of dry mouth, as well as so-called recreational drugs.
Chemotherapy may have an impact on the salivary glands, and their ability to produce saliva. It might return to normal once the treatment is finished.
In addition to discomort, dry mouth can lead to increased plaque on the teeth. This can, in turn, lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Yeast infections and sores around the mouth can also occur.
People with dry mouth may also have poor nutrition, because chewing and swallowing are more difficult.
The treatment for dry mouth depends on what’s causing it. If you have persistent dry mouth but don’t know why, please let us know at The Mt. Vernon Center for Dentistry in Alexandria. Our services include family and restorative dentistry. Call us to set up an appointment today!