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Dry Mouth


Posted on 9/25/2021 by Florida Smiles Dental
woman smilingDry mouth can range in cases from mild to severe, but our Miami Beach FL dentist is here to help alleviate those symptoms across all levels of discomfort. If you feel a consultation with our Miami Beach dentist may be of help, feel free to call our Florida Smiles Dental to schedule an appointment.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS


Dry mouth, or Xerostomia, is often identified by less production of saliva. Reduced salivary flow can result in difficulty speaking, swallowing, or tasting. Some people also experience a change in tolerance to spicy, salty, and sour foods. Often these symptoms can lead to dietary changes over time. Sores in the throat and mouth, burning sensations, cracked lips, and halitosis can also be indicators. In a long-term context, dry mouth can result in tooth sensitivity, decay, and demineralization. Symptoms may be their worst at night, as the body produces the least amount of saliva during sleep.

IMPORTANCE OF SALIVA


Saliva is 99% water, and the influx of the hydrating fluid and mix of minerals and electrolytes serve to keep tissue moist, aid in food digestion, maintain a healthy Ph balance, prevent demineralization, and cleanse the oral cavity. While dry mouth is common, it is important to not overlook, as the condition may be a symptom of a larger health issue.

CAUSES


Those who are undergoing radiation therapy, particularly for head or neck cancer, are particularly susceptible to dry mouth. Autoimmune diseases, as well other conditions such as infections, hormonal changes, and unmanaged diabetes, may be sources of the symptom. Often, dry mouth can also be a reaction to a new medication.

TREATMENT


For more severe cases, saliva substitutes and alterations to medications may be necessary. However, patient education and lifestyle changes are often emphasized. For example, chewing on sugar-free gum to activate saliva production is often helpful. Using moisturizers and lip lubricants, drinking plenty of fluids, using a humidifier, and sucking on ice chips are a few examples of these strategies.

AVOID TOOTH ENAMEL DAMAGE WITH THESE RECOMMENDATIONS FROM OUR MIAMI BEACH FL DENTIST


To prevent dental damage, our Miami Beach dentist has some specific recommendations for those experiencing dry mouth. Prescription strength fluoride should be applied daily to prevent the breakdown of enamel, and when you brush, a fluoride toothpaste is recommended. Daily flossing will help prevent decay as well. Prompt treatment of oral bacterial or fungal infections is imperative as well, as dry mouth may make you more susceptible.

Contact our Miami Beach dental office if you would like to further consult about dry mouth symptoms. Our Florida Smiles Dental is happy to develop a strategy to best address your symptoms.

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