Two older dental patients smilingThe team at Shreveport Bossier Family Dental Care has addressed many kinds of dental problems. Some of these problems are predominantly aesthetic in nature, while others may affect the overall health and wellness of a patient. Whatever the case may be, we are pleased to help patients throughout Bossier City and Shreveport by offering the latest in general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry.

One dental health problem that can be quite serious that many people do not think about is dry mouth. We want to take a moment right now to consider the causes and nature of dry mouth and what can be done to treat it.

What is dry mouth?

Also known as xerostomia, dry mouth refers to a lack of saliva and general moisture in the mouth. This can be caused by conditions within the mouth itself or by other factors.

The Causes of Dry Mouth

Some of the most common causes of dry mouth include the following:

  • Blocked salivary glands
  • Dehydration
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Use of tobacco products
  • Damage to the nerves
  • Side effects from medications
  • Side effects from medical conditions
  • The natural aging process

Dental Problems Associated with Dry Mouth

When a person suffers from dry mouth, speaking and eating can be quite difficult given the lack of moisture in the mouth. In addition to this inconvenience, dry mouth can also cause a person’s bad breath to become more pronounced and accelerate the progress of tooth decay and gum disease.

Dry Mouth as a Sign of Medical Conditions

As we noted above, dry mouth is a side effect of certain medical problems. The following are some serious health issues that may cause dry mouth:

  • Oral cancers
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Anemia
  • High blood pressure
  • Parkinson’s
  • Alzheimer’s

Treatments for Dry Mouth

Treatments for dry mouth are varied, and they tend to be related to the root cause of the dry mouth itself.

When a person’s dry mouth is caused by a blockage in a salivary gland, your dentist may suggest that you suck on a sour candy of some kind. This will help trigger the production of saliva, and in the process of promoting saliva production help unblock the salivary gland.

If the dry mouth is persistent and related to nerve damage or advanced age, the best option for care is the use of artificial saliva products that are available at the store. These are generally sprays, lozenges, or rinses that help add moisture to the mouth. Your dentist can recommend a good one for your needs.

If the dry mouth persists, be sure to visit with your general practitioner. A full medical screening will help determine if your dry mouth is related to a health issue of some kind.

Preventing Dry Mouth

To prevent dry mouth, it’s a good idea to stay well-hydrated with water throughout the day. We also recommend that you avoid drinking alcohol in excess and that you do not use tobacco products. These common sense solutions will be helpful for the vast majority of patients.

Learn More About Family Dental Care Treatment

If you would like to learn more about dry mouth and all of your options for advanced dentistry, be sure to contact our family dental care center today. Our team will help you achieve great dental health and a beautiful smile in the process while also looking out for your general wellness.