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Dry Mouth and Your Dental Health

December 22, 2014

78814148Dry mouth is a condition that afflicts millions of Americans. Dry Mouth (xerostomia) is a deficiency of the salivary glands where the mouth continually feels dry. Saliva protects and preserves tissue in the mouth and throat. When not enough is produced by the body, the uncomfortable feeling in the mouth can lead to tooth decay and bad breadth.  Although this condition affects mostly older adults, it is not a normal part of aging. Make an appointment with Dr. Latner at Westside Dental Associates today to begin treating your dry mouth symptoms. Don’t put off the treatment you need any longer. Westside Dental Associates restores smiles daily throughout West Los Angeles and nearby areas including Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, Marina Del Rey, Rancho Park and Mar Vista.

What Are the Symptoms of Dry Mouth?

Dry mouth is characterized by a dry or sticky feeling on the mouth, as if the mouth is stuffed with cotton balls. People with dry mouth can also experience dry lips and mouth sores, a burning feeling in the mouth or tongue, or  a leathery feeling on the tongue. They may also find it difficult to swallow, chew food, or even speak.

What Causes Dry Mouth?

The number one cause of dry mouth is prescription medication. Over five hundred prescription drugs and over the counter medications have the side effect of dry mouth; including drugs intended to relieve symptoms of for high blood pressure, incontinence and allergies. The second most common cause of dry mouth is Sjogren’s syndrome. Sjogren’s syndrome affects over 1 million people, but is most common among menopausal women. Other causes for dry mouth include cancer treatment for head and neck cancers and head and neck injuries with nerve damage. Diseases that can be a direct cause of dry mouth include; Diabetes, HIV/AIDS, Depression, Uncontrolled high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s disease, Addison’s disease, and Alcoholic cirrhosis.

Dry Mouth Treatment in West Los Angeles, CA

There are steps that can be taken to alleviate the symptoms of dry mouth. Patients can try drinking room-temperature water throughout the day and night and carry a water bottle at all times. They can avoid drinking lots of water that is either very hot or very cold. It’s also a good idea to drink only sugarless drinks and avoid carbonated beverages. Avoiding drinks with caffeine is a good idea too because caffeine can dry out the mouth. They should drink water before, during and after a meal, chew sugarless gum, or suck on sugarless candy to stimulate salivary flow. Both alcoholic beverages and smoking can dry out the mouth and make patients susceptible to gum diseases and oral cancer. They can also try using a nighttime humidifier to moisten room air. However, the dentist is your best resource for developing a compressive treatment plan to get dry mouth symptoms under control. Possible in office dental treatments include topical fluoride treatments, prescription home fluoride, and antibacterial/anti-fungal mouth rinses . The dentist may also need to perform diagnostic x-rays more frequently to prevent and restore dental decay. Make an appointment with Dr. Latner at Westside Dental Associates today to protect your oral health. Westside Dental Associates proudly serves patients throughout West Los Angeles and surrounding communities including Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, Marina Del Rey, Rancho Park and Mar Vista.

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