It’s pretty safe to say that dry mouth (also known as Xerostomia) has been around as long as humans have existed. However, dry mouth shouldn’t be overlooked. It can lead to severe problems including chronic bad breath, deep cavities and other dental issues that could require a trip to your local dentist.
When you are asleep, the jaw relaxes and opens. Therefore, the salivary glands can’t replace the saliva in the mouth as quickly as it evaporates. In addition, your brain knows you are not alert and that you will not be eating, therefore it produces less saliva. This leads to the tongue and palate drying out very quickly. So while you are sleeping, bacteria is breeding and wreaking havoc in every space and crevice in your mouth. This leads to bad morning breath and the layer of scum you feel on your teeth. This is why is it is very important to brush, floss, and rinse your mouth out in the mornings. Remember the following saying: Dry mouth at night: bacteria’s delight. Dry mouth at morning: halitosis! Take warning!
Dry mouth can also be caused by the effects of medication, diseases/infections, dehydration, radiation therapy, or from the surgical removal of the salivary glands. Although dry mouth is, in and of itself, a symptom, it often occurs along with other symptoms, such as:
● Frequent thirst
● Burning or tingling sensation, especially on the tongue
● Red, raw tongue
● Sores in mouth or at corners of lips
● Difficulty swallowing
● Problems with taste
● Sore throat and hoarseness
● Bad breath
● Problems with speech
● Dry nasal passages
● Dry, cracked lips
● Increase in dental problems, such as cavities and gum disease
● Difficulty wearing dentures
● Repeated yeast infections in the mouth
Only your dentist or physician can truly evaluate dry mouth thoroughly and effectively. If you feel have the symptoms referenced above, do not wait to discuss them with dentist in your local area. Dental decay can develop quickly in a dry mouth that is otherwise healthy. If you currently do not have a dentist, the professionals at The Dental Center at Easton Town Center are more than happy to assess and evaluate your situation. Contact them today to set up an appointment to review your dental needs – but if you feel it’s a dental emergency, we also have urgent dental services if your dry mouth has been going on too long!