Dry mouth happens to everyone on occasion, but sometimes the problem is unusually severe or does not improve with a drink of water. Chronic dry mouth occurs when the saliva glands do not produce sufficient saliva to keep the mouth moist. While annoying, dry mouth can also have an impact on your overall health and the health of your teeth.
Causes of Dry Mouth
One of the most common causes of dry mouth is medications, including both prescription and over-the-counter, for conditions like nerve pain, anxiety, allergies, depression and congestion. Pain medications can also be a contributing factor.
Dry mouth can happen as a natural part of the aging process, although most often people notice dry mouth as they age due to new medications or health conditions they are experiencing as a result of aging. Treatment for cancer can also cause the condition. Drug an alcohol abuse, nerve damage and a number of autoimmune diseases can also cause a dry mouth.
Problems Connected to Dry Mouth
Without sufficient saliva, you may develop problems with increased plaque, as the bacteria in the saliva will not break down the tartar that leads to plaque. This, then, can increase your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Mouth sores, fungal infections of the mouth, sores in the mouth, cracked lips and difficulty chewing and swallowing can also occur.
Get Help for Dry Mouth
If you are struggling with dry mouth, Dr. James J. McCall is ready to help. The treatment will depend on the cause of your condition, and may involve working with your doctor to change your medications, using products to moisturize the mouth or even using prescription medications to stimulate saliva production. You will also need to work with your dentist to protect your teeth from the problems connected to dry mouth.
To get help with your dry mouth, contact Dr. James J. McCall at his Jacksonville practice at 904-620-9225.