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What is a dry mouth?

Everyone has a dry mouth from time to time, but if you have a dry mouth all or most of the time a number of health problems can arise.

What causes a dry mouth?

Dry mouth happens when your salivary glands in the mouth do not produce enough saliva

A dry mouth can be temporary or long term. Temporary dry mouth may be caused by stress or many medicines both those prescribed by the doctor and some you can buy over the counter in the pharmacy.

Some causes of temporary dry mouth:

  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Some medicines
  • Smoking
  • Mouth breathing

Long term dry mouth may be irreversible and can be caused by medical treatments such as radiotherapy or head and neck surgery.

Some causes of long-term dry mouth

  • Radiotherapy
  • Diabetes
  • Head and neck surgery
  • Lupus
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sjogren’s syndrome

How will dry mouth affect me?

If you have been experiencing a feeling of dryness regularly, you will already know how difficult it is to carry out normal day-to day functions such as eating, swallowing, speaking and even enjoying a restful night’s sleep.

You may be feeling thirsty, have lost most of your sense of taste and be suffering a burning sensation in your mouth and cracked lips.

Your dental health may be starting to suffer, your dentist may have told you that your teeth and gums are not as healthy as before. You may be aware that your breath is not as fresh.

Why is saliva so important?

Saliva is quite a complex fluid and has a number of important roles. Although mainly water it also contains lots of ingredients for lubrication , digestion and killing bacteria, fungi and viruses.

Saliva:

  • Helps chewing and swallowing
  • Starts digestion of food
  • Helps speech
  • Protects against bacteria etc
  • Contains minerals which repair teeth

If you think you are suffering from dry mouth make an appointment with Dr Joshi at Whitestar Dental Practice – CALL 0208 427 1800

Some remedies include sweets however we don’t advise sweets as they cause decay.

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