Xerostomia

Author: Tracey Perry-Johnson, RDH

Xerostomia is the perception of dry mouth accompanied by hyposalivation. Lack of saliva & moisture in the mouth is a serious oral condition. The imbalance of oral proteins, electrolytes and salivary flow encompass what is known to dental professionals as xerostomia. Dry mouth is affecting a growing number of patients of all ages and sets the stage for caries (cavities), enamel erosion, Periodontal disease, and fungal infections. Dry mouth can cause major quality of life issues. For instance, when the mouth is dry, your sense of taste is drastically altered. Your mouth can become so dry that talking can become challenging, causing lips to stick to teeth. In severe dry mouth cases, tears to the soft tissue of the mouth can be very painful.

Since all dry mouth issues are not the same, it is important to understand the distinctions when trying to help a patient gain some relief. There are many products sold online and in retail stores which can be helpful in treating dry mouth symptoms. It is extremely important to treat dry mouth, but it is just as important to understand the underlying cause of it! Different medical conditions can cause dry mouth. Some medical conditions which can alter salivary flow are: chemo and radiation therapy, thyroid disease, diabetes, etc. Taking medications for any of these conditions can also be a culprit in causing dry mouth as well as medications being taken to help treat hypertension and psychiatric conditions.

The objective from the dental team is to educate and offer remedies to alleviate the discomforts associated with dry mouth. Visit our team at Spring Lake Dental Group to discuss any dry mouth concerns you have!