Oral hygiene is important to your overall health. So, it’s important to know what to do if you are dealing with a specific issue. One in three Australian adults will experience dry mouth at some point in their lives. That doesn’t mean they are dealing with the condition of dry mouth, but if you are experiencing a dry mouth, you need to know what to look for.
What is Dry Mouth?
Xerostomia or dry mouth is a common condition. A dry mouth is when your salivary glands don’t produce enough saliva to keep your mouth appropriately wet. It is often the result of certain medications, medical treatments, or related to ageing. It can also be down to a salivary gland condition.
It might sound like a simple annoyance, but your saliva plays an important role in your oral health. It neutralised acids that bacteria produce, which helps wash food particles away and limits bacterial growth. Saliva also enhances your tastebuds, makes chewing easier, and aids swallowing. Its work doesn’t stop there, the enzymes in your saliva also aid your digestion. So, having a dry mouth can be an annoyance, but it can also be a destructive force.
What Can You Do About Dry Mouth?
A dry mouth can lead to an increase in plaque, which can contribute to gum disease and tooth decay. It can also cause oral thrush, mouth sores, split skin, cracked lips or sores around your mouth.
There are many steps you can take in an attempt to relieve your dry mouth.
- Make sure you drink plenty of water because hydration is an important part of relieving dry mouth. If you enjoy a soft drink, ensure you only consume sugar-free options.
- You can suck on sugar-free candies or chew sugar-free gum, this can help stimulate saliva.
- Caffeine may provide you with an energy boost, but it can dry your mouth. Alcohol can also contribute to dry mouth so it’s best to avoid both as much as possible.
- Tobacco and recreational drugs can also contribute to dry mouth so, if you are experiencing dry mouth try to cut back on these items.
- Try to avoid dry foods like crackers, pastries, and bread.
- Breathe through your nose.
- Brush, floss, and use mouthwash regularly. Buy toothpaste that contains fluoride.
Does Dry Mouth Affect Dentures?
Whether you have partial dentures, immediate dentures or a full set, dry mouth can compromise the fit. While the fit of your denture can be impacted by medication, bone loss, and weight loss, don’t underestimate the damage dry mouth can do. Dry mouth in and of itself is uncomfortable and it can result in irritations, sores, loose dentures, and even infections. Your dentures are not the cause of dry mouth.
When To See Your Dentist
If you have bad breath, your saliva is stringy or thick, or your mouth feels dry and sticky, then you may have dry mouth. Additional symptoms include grooves on your tongue, difficulty chewing and swallowing, difficulty speaking, hoarseness, a change in your sense of taste, and denture issues.
If you have persistent signs or symptoms of dry mouth, then you should make an appointment with your dentist. If you take any medications that may be contributing to the issue, you may want to speak to your doctor about an alternative.
How Aesthetic Dental & Denture Clinic Can Help
If you suspect you are dealing with dry mouth, you can make an appointment with our denture clinic. We can also assist with denture repair, even emergency denture repairs. If you are looking into the cost of dentures, you can make an appointment and we will provide you with a denture cost quote. Contact Aesthetic Dental & Denture Clinic today!