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Why is My Mouth So Dry?

Do you notice you’re thirsty all the time? Do you wake up with a dry mouth? Do you have difficulty swallowing? Are you taking prescription medications? If you answered yes to any of these, you may be suffering from a condition called xerostomia, or better known as “dry mouth”. Dry mouth is a condition in which the saliva glands are not producing a normal amount of saliva flow. Some common causes include side effects from certain medications, aging, mouthbreathing, cancer therapy (radiation/chemotherapy), caffeine and alcohol use, smoking, and autoimmune disorders like Sjorgren’s syndrome. Symptoms of dry mouth can vary from person to person, but most people report a feeling of uncomfortable oral dryness or a “coating” on their teeth, difficulty swallowing, and cracked or chapped lips. Saliva is important; it aids in the lubrication of oral tissues, speaking and swallowing, and protects against tooth decay, excessive plaque buildup, periodontal disease, gingivitis and other oral irritations.

If you think you’re experiencing dry mouth, please speak to your dental professional. Some things you can do to relieve the symptoms are sipping water frequently, avoiding drinks like coffee and alcohol which can dry the mouth more, avoiding smoking, and using a humidifier at night. Using other oral aids such as Biotène products (rinse, toothpaste and spray) and chewing gum or mints with xylitol may ease the symptoms as well. Please speak to your dental professional for a personalized recommendation on treatment.