Dry mouth – Oral Health Foundation


What’s dry mouth?

Your mouth wants saliva to have the ability to work correctly. Saliva retains your mouth moist, and it helps to interrupt down your meals and lets you swallow. It additionally acts as a cleanser. It’s continuously washing round your mouth and enamel, preventing tooth decay and serving to to maintain your enamel clear. Dry mouth or ‘xerostomia’ is a situation which impacts the stream of saliva, inflicting your mouth to really feel dry.

How can I inform I’ve dry mouth?

There are a number of signs to look out for. The obvious one is, after all, a dry mouth. Some folks really feel that their saliva has turn into thick and sticky, making it tough to talk or swallow. Some folks even have a ‘prickly’ or burning sensation of their mouth and turn into delicate to sure meals. The mouth can turn into sore and there’s a increased danger of tooth decay and gum disease. In some circumstances, the mouth may also turn into crimson and glossy. You probably have any of those signs it would not essentially imply that you’ve got dry mouth. However it could be greatest to speak to your dental staff or physician about it.

What could cause dry mouth?

Dry mouth generally is a symptom of many alternative issues and might occur as you become older. Very often it’s a facet impact of remedy – particularly coronary heart, blood stress and despair tablets. Your physician, pharmacist or dental staff ought to be capable to inform you whether or not your remedy could cause issues. Dry mouth may also be attributable to medical therapies equivalent to radiotherapy, or surgical procedure to the pinnacle or neck.

In some circumstances, dry mouth generally is a direct results of a medical situation (for instance diabetes, lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome and blocked salivary glands).

Are girls extra prone to get dry mouth?

Girls who’re going by way of the menopause (typically referred to as ‘the change’ or ‘the change of life’) might undergo from dry mouth. Girls who’ve had their menopause and are taking hormone substitute remedy (HRT) may discover they undergo from dry mouth. In case you are taking remedy and have any of the signs of dry mouth, discuss to your physician to see whether or not it might be modified.

Can I stop dry mouth?

Sadly there appears to be no means of really stopping the issue, though there are merchandise to ease the signs.

What issues can it trigger?

Saliva helps to cancel out the acid that assaults your enamel, and is an important a part of your dental well being. Saliva helps to interrupt down meals if you are chewing, permitting you to swallow extra simply. Some folks discover that they’ve issues with swallowing when their saliva stream is affected.

Saliva can also be crucial in preventing tooth decay. It helps to battle the micro organism that kind dental plaque and trigger tooth decay and gum illness. Plaque is the skinny, sticky movie that retains forming in your enamel.

Having much less saliva may also have an effect on the style of meals and makes it tougher to eat drier meals. Typically it will probably have an effect on your speech and it makes folks extra prone to have bad breath.

What merchandise are there to assist with dry mouth?

There are a variety of merchandise designed to assist your mouth keep moist and comfy. These are normally gels or sprays. Some have further elements which can assist stop tooth and gum issues. There are additionally particular merchandise to assist along with your day-to-day oral hygiene (for instance toothpastes and mouth rinses).

How typically ought to I go to my dentist if I’ve dry mouth?

You’ve gotten the next danger of tooth decay and gum illness with dry mouth, and these can worsen extra shortly than traditional. So you will need to go to your dental staff usually. Your dental staff will inform you how typically it’s best to go to.

What can I do to assist relieve the signs of dry mouth?

There are alternative ways of relieving the signs of dry mouth. Some folks discover that sipping water, or sucking sugar-free sweets, helps within the quick time period. It is extremely essential to make use of sugar-free merchandise, as dry mouth could make you extra prone to have tooth decay. Chewing sugar-free gum may also assist because it encourages your mouth to make saliva. Your dental staff would possibly advocate merchandise equivalent to rinses, gels, pastes and lozenges which you will get from the pharmacist.

What toothpaste ought to I exploit?

You will need to use a fluoride toothpaste containing a minimum of 1350 to 1500ppm (elements per million) of fluoride. A ‘complete care’ toothpaste could also be greatest as these comprise antibacterial brokers and different elements to manage the build-up of plaque.

Some merchandise comprise Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS), and a few folks with dry mouth discover this will irritate the mouth and make the situation worse.

What can my dental staff do to assist stop the issues attributable to dry mouth?

Your dental staff will not be capable to assist with the reason for dry mouth. However by serving to you retain your mouth clear and by utilizing fluoride they will, in lots of circumstances, assist to delay the beginning of tooth decay. Your dental staff will be capable to offer you recommendation about your eating regimen and inform you how one can care in your enamel and gums correctly.

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Want extra recommendation?

Should you want free and neutral recommendation about your oral well being, contact our Dental Helpline by e-mail or name 01788 539780 (native fee name within the UK).

Our Dental Helpline is totally confidential and has helped virtually 400,000 folks since opening over 20 years in the past. Contact our consultants by phone, e-mail or on-line enquiry, Monday to Friday, 09:00 – 17:00.


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