04/Dec/2020

Importance of Saliva

Saliva offers natural cleansing and helps rid harmful bacteria in the mouth. If the production of saliva is decreased you may experience: dry sticky feeling in mouth and throat, difficulty swallowing, mouth sores, cracked lips, dry and red tongue, burning sensation, bad breath, and other problems and discomforts. Even further damage than these irritations can occur from chronic dry mouth if left untreated, such as: gum disease, tooth decay, and oral infections.

Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is a common side effect of many medications. Discontinuing medications for illness or disease is usually not an option, which leaves only two courses of action: find ways to increase salivary production and eliminate specific things that are likely to cause dry mouth.

Dry mouth can be caused by medications used to treat:
  • Anxiety
  • Pain
  • Allergies
  • Colds
  • Hypertension
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Psychotic Disorders
  • Urinary Incontinence
  • Asthma
  • Parkinson’s Disease

It can also result from the use of muscle relaxants and sedatives.

Certain diseases and infections that may cause dry mouth include:
  • Sjögren’s syndrome
  • HIV
  • Alzheimers
  • Diabetes
  • Anemia
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Hypertension
  • Parkinson’s Disease Stroke
  • Mumps
Dry mouth can be the result of certain medical treatments, nerve damage, dehydration and lifestyle choices including:
  • Radiation
  • Chemotherapy
  • Head and Neck Injury
  • Smoking & Tobacco

Eliminating the cause to dry mouth would be ideal, but there are instances where that is not an option.

Here are a few steps you can take that can help to boost your salivary flow: 
  • Chew Sugar-Free Gum
  • Drink Plenty of Water
  • Breath Through Your Nose
  • Use a Room Vaporizer
  • Use an Over-the-Counter Saliva Substitute

 

Contact Palm Harbor Premier Dental at (813) 289 – 0560 for further information if you are suffering from dry mouth or would like to make an appointment. Our friendly staff is ready to assist you!

 

Further Reading on Dry Mouth Causes and Solutions:

WebMd.com

MayoClinic.org


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