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Dry Mouth

Dry Mouth Treatment in London

Dry mouth is medically called xerostomia. It is a dental problem that occurs when the salivary glands can’t produce enough saliva to keep the mouth moist. In some cases, dry mouth results from ageing, radiation therapy, and certain medications. In rare cases, this condition may occur from issues directly affecting the salivary gland.

Insufficient saliva production can cause mild to severe issues that affect the overall health, teeth, gums, ability to enjoy food and appetite. The cause of dry mouth will determine its treatment, but our dental professional at Thousand Smiles will recommend the most suitable treatment for your case.

Symptoms of dry mouth

  • Difficulty using dentures
  • Dry tongue
  • Bad breath
  • Thick flowing saliva
  • A sticky sensation in the mouth or loss of moisture
  • Sore or dry throat and hoarseness
  • Problems with speaking, chewing and swallowing
  • Abnormal taste in the mouth

Highly experienced dentists offering advanced dental treatments at Thousand Smiles.

What causes dry mouth?

Your salivary gland may be unable to produce sufficient saliva for different reasons, such as:

Medications

Dry mouth is a common side effect of several over-the-counter and prescribed medications. These medications include antidepressants, drugs for high blood pressure, pain, anxiety, and antihistamines.

Ageing

As you grow older, your mouth may become dry, and this may be aided by long-term illnesses, some medications, changes in the processing of medications and poor nutrition.

Cancer therapy

Radiation from cancer treatment can affect the salivary gland and reduce saliva production

Use of recreational drugs

Methamphetamine, marijuana and other recreational drugs can trigger dryness in the mouth

Nerve damage

Dry mouth may occur if the nerves in the head and neck become damaged by an injury

Use of tobacco and alcohol

Smoking, tobacco use and drinking may worsen the symptoms of dry mouth

Other health conditions

Diabetes, stroke, autoimmune disease, Alzheimer’s disease and other conditions can cause dry mouth. Breathing with your mouth open and snoring can also cause dry mouth.

Complications

Dry mouth may cause the following

  • Yeast infection in the mouth
  • Sores in the mouth
  • Severe plaque, gum disease and tooth decay
  • Cracked lips
  • Lack of nutrition resulting from difficulty swallowing and chewing food

Highly experienced dentists offering advanced dental treatments at Thousand Smiles.

Diagnosing dry mouth

The dental professional will examine your mouth and review your medical history and all your medication to diagnose dry mouth. You may also need some diagnostic tests and scans of your salivary gland to diagnose the condition.

If your dry mouth results from Sjogren’s syndrome, you may need a biopsy to have your sample tested at the lab.

Dry mouth treatment

The treatment will depend on what causes your dry mouth.

  • If a medication causes your dry mouth, you will need to change the medication’s dosage or the medication itself
  • You may get anti-dry mouth products like moisturisers and artificial saliva

If the dry mouth is severe, saliva-stimulating medications such as pilocarpine (Salogen) may be necessary, and tooth protection products such as chlorhexidine rinse and fluoride trays to prevent cavities.

Highly experienced dentists offering advanced dental treatments at Thousand Smiles.

Care at home

The following tips can help prevent dry mouth

  • Eat sugar-free candies and gum
  • Sip water during meals and throughout the day
  • Use room humidifier
  • Use lip moisturisers if you have cracked lips
  • Breathe through your mouth
  • Use over-the-counter substitutes for saliva, such as Mouth Kote

Ensure you avoid dry mouth stimulants such as:

  • OTC antihistamines and decongestants
  • Tobacco products
  • Drinks and foods containing acid or sugar
  • Caffeine and alcohol

How to protect your teeth

  • Rinse your mouth with fluoride rinse
  • Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste and floss
  • Visit the dentist every six months for your dental examination

Preparing for your appointment

Doing the following before you see the dentist is advisable

  • Note all your symptoms
  • Note the question to ask the dentist
  • Note all your medications
  • Identify lifestyle factors that induce your dry mouth

You can ask the dentist the following questions

  • Is my dry mouth permanent or temporary?
  • What is the cause of my dry mouth?
  • Which treatment is most suitable?

Your dentist may ask these questions

  • When did you start experiencing the symptoms?
  • Do you drink or smoke?
  • Do you have continuous or periodic symptoms?

If you experience symptoms of dry mouth, visit Thousand Smiles today to have our dentist diagnose the cause of the condition and provide the right treatment. Feel free to call us on 020 8050 0280 to book an appointment.

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