Xerostomia (more commonly referred to as dry mouth syndrome), is a condition where the salivary glands located in the mouth do not make sufficient amounts of saliva in order to keep your mouth wet. Fortunately, at Sandygate Dental our dentist in Sheffield can offer you a variety of solutions to combat a dry mouth which can otherwise lead to several dental issues.
What causes dry mouth syndrome?
Dry mouth syndrome can be caused by a variety of factors; it is not considered to be a disease but instead is a symptom or side effect of other medical disorders such as Sjogren’s Syndrome. Dry mouth syndrome can be caused by gland problems, certain medications which inhibit the production of saliva and even breathing through the mouth. There are a range of medications that can cause dry mouth syndrome such as decongestants and antihistamines; both of these types of medications can be purchased over the counter so we recommend you ask your pharmacist for advice on how to prevent getting a dry mouth before purchasing them. Other factors that can cause dry mouth syndrome include radiotherapy if you are being treated for cancer, old age and conditions that affect the salivary glands.
Why is saliva important?
Having a sufficient level of saliva production is highly important for the functioning of your mouth. In dentistry, saliva is significantly important in preventing tooth decay and other dental issues by washing away food particles, inhibiting the growth of bacteria in the mouth and neutralising harmful acids that are produced by bacteria when they come into contact with sugars and starches. Additionally, saliva makes it easier for you to chew and swallow food by softening it and the enzymes within the saliva work to help you digest food.
When your mouth is not producing enough saliva, a number of symptoms may come into effect. These include a sticky sensation inside your mouth, your mouth always feeling dry, the consistency of your saliva turning thick, bad breath that does not go away after brushing or flossing, changes in taste, a dry tongue and throat and issues with wearing your dentures. As dry mouth syndrome can have a negative impact on your dental health, it is essential to contact our dentist in Sheffield as soon as you begin presenting any of the above-mentioned signs so that they can be addressed as soon as possible.
How can dry mouth syndrome be managed?
If you have a dry mouth, it is especially important to take care of your oral hygiene in order to prevent tooth decay and cavities. This is because you are more at risk of developing dental issues if you suffer from dry mouth syndrome. It is vital that you brush your teeth twice a day and use an oral rinse to ensure your teeth are well looked after. Oral rinses will also bring back some of the moisture to your mouth, however only for a short period of time.
It is also crucial to promote the production of saliva to keep your teeth protected from dental issues and diseases. Our dentist in Sheffield may recommend artificial saliva sprays and rinses which can be purchased at a pharmacy or can even prescribe you saliva stimulating pastilles known as Salivix. Alternatively, there are toothpastes and mouthwashes that are especially designed to aid dry mouth syndrome and stimulate the production of saliva.