Everyone has a dry mouth once in a while – when they are nervous, upset, or under stress.  But if you have a dry mouth all or most of the time, it can be uncomfortable and can lead to serious health problems.  If you have a dry mouth, we encourage you to contact Parkway Dental at 919-380-9622 to learn more about treatments for this condition and schedule your appointment with Dr. Stephen Coker in Cary, North Carolina.

Dry mouth is the condition of not having enough saliva to keep your mouth wet.  Symptoms include:

  • A sticky, dry feeling in the mouth
  • Trouble chewing, swallowing, tasting, or speaking
  • A burning feeling in the mouth
  • A dry feeling in the throat
  • Cracked lips
  • A dry, rough tongue
  • Mouth sores
  • An infection in the mouth

Saliva is important to your oral health, as it helps digest food, protects teeth from decay, prevents infection by controlling the bacteria in the mouth, and makes it possible for you to chew and swallow.  Without enough saliva, you can develop tooth decay or oral infections, and you may not get the nutrients you need.

Dry mouth may be caused by:

  • Side effects of some medications
  • Disease
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Nerve damage

Treatments for dry mouth will depend on what is the cause of the problem.  It may include changing your medication or adjusting your dosage, taking a prescribed medicine, or using artificial saliva.

If you have a dry mouth, we recommend that you:

  • Sip water or sugarless drinks often.
  • Avoid drinks with caffeine, such as coffee, tea, and some sodas. Caffeine can dry out the mouth.
  • Sip water or a sugarless drink during meals. This will make chewing and swallowing easier. It may also improve the taste of food.
  • Chew sugarless gum or suck on sugarless hard candy to stimulate saliva flow; citrus, cinnamon or mint-flavored candies are good choices.
  • Don’t use tobacco or alcohol. They dry out the mouth.
  • Be aware that spicy or salty foods may cause pain in a dry mouth.
  • Use a humidifier at night.
  • Take special care to keep your mouth healthy (brush at least twice each day, floss daily, visit your dentist for regular checkups twice each year, and avoid eating sticky, sugary foods).

For more information about dry mouth, please contact our office.