According to the American Dental Association, dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, is caused by a limited amount of saliva in the mouth. Commonly mischaracterized as a disease, dry mouth is a symptom of a medical disorder or a side effect of taking certain kinds of prescription and over the counter medications. It’s not just a nuisance, a chronically dry mouth can have a severe impact on your overall oral health.

The Role of Saliva

Saliva does a lot for your mouth, probably a lot more than you’re aware of. It washes away food particles, neutralizes acids and prevents tooth decay; it helps keep your gums and teeth healthy by protecting them against bacteria and keeping them hydrated. Without the proper amount of saliva, you are at risk for many different issues and oral health problems.

Problems Caused by Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is not only a symptom of a more significant issue, but it can also cause its own symptoms. Common problems caused by a lack of saliva are chronic sore throat, burning sensations in the throat or mouth, difficulty swallowing, and dry sinuses.

How to Treat Dry Mouth

If you have been experiencing symptoms of dry mouth, talk to your doctor and your dentist right away. It could be because of certain medications, or it could be a symptom of a more severe medical issue. Your dentist will be able to assess if medical attention is necessary. Often, your dentist will be able to recommend different ways to produce more saliva, like sugar-free gums or oral rinses.

If you have been experiencing symptoms of dry mouth, contact Dr. Zola Makrauer or Dr. Julie Miller at Huntingdon Valley Dental Arts right away. Tooth decay is a serious issue and can be caused by dry mouth if left untreated. It’s important to see a dentist right away. Call to make your appointment today.