Do you find yourself dealing with dry mouth on a regular basis? While mask wearing during this pandemic can increase the risk of dry mouth, others may experience it daily regardless. These patients are often diagnosed with a condition called xerostomia. Xerostomia is the medical term for chronic dry mouth. It affects approximately one in ten individuals in America, with the numbers more prevalent amongst older adults and in women. In addition to the mouth feeling dry, patients may also experience bad breath (halitosis) and cracked lips. 

Many individuals take their natural production of saliva for granted, not realizing how much of a role it plays in maintaining a healthy smile. Salvia lubricates the moth to protect I against sores, enhance tasting abilities, neutralizing acids, fighting fungal and bacterial conditions, and flushing away food particles in the mouth after eating. 

What can cause dry mouth? 

Dry mouth is the mouth’s inability to secrete sufficient amounts of saliva from the salivary glands. The cause of dry mouth varies, but may include: 

  • Dehydration
  • Damage/trauma
  • Age
  • Medications
  • Infections/diseases
  • Lifestyle and habits

How can dry mouth be treated? 

There are many approaches available to reverse or even manage the symptoms of xerostomia. These include: 

  • Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water
  • Increasing humidity in your home and office spaces
  • Purchasing and utilizing saliva replacement solutions
  • Using alcohol-free mouthwashes which can reduce irritation and dryness
  • Stimulating saliva glands with sugar-free candies and gums
  • Avoiding caffeinated beverages that can exacerbate dry mouth symptoms
  • Avoiding smoking, alcohol, and drug use
  • Seek the help of a dentist for further assistance and recommendations
  • Proper oral health and wellness starts at home

Patients need to stay on top of their oral health and wellness to reduce the risk of developing dental problems. This is especially true for patients diagnosed with dry mouth, as this can keep saliva flow from naturally cleaning away food particles and acids that can impact the smile. At Schindler Dentistry of Columbus, Ohio, we encourage patients to work routinely with a dentist to help manage their condition and reduce their risk of dental problems. Call (614) 586-0609 to talk to our front office team about scheduling an appointment with our dentist, Dr. Sharon Schindler, conveniently located at 775 Yard Street, Ste. #175.