If salivary content is low, one must do as much as possible to keep the oral tissues as moist as possible and limit the things that can dry the mouth out.
Treatment for dry mouth depends on what is causing the problem.
If dry mouth is caused by a health-related situation that can be changed, your dentist or doctor will consider making a change. If your dry mouth is caused by certain medication, your doctor may change your medication or adjust the dosage.
However, if the underlying medical condition causing the dry mouth cannot be changed – for example, if your dry mouth is caused by radiotherapy or Sjögren’s syndrome, treatment will focus on ways to boost saliva flow. You may also be prescribed a medication called pilocarpine to increase the natural production of saliva. These medications are to be avoided by people with asthma or glaucoma.
Not only does saliva help digest food by moistening it and making it possible for you to chew and swallow. Also it is the natural mouth cleanser. Without saliva, tooth decay, gum disease and fungal infections are more likely to occur. If you have a dry mouth, you need to be extra careful about good oral hygiene habits as a dry oral environment makes plaque control more difficult. Dentists in dental clinics in Delhi are making it a point to explain and suggest all their patients the use of sugar free chewing gums as an adjunct to oral care. This will also help in increasing the saliva production.
Meticulous oral care and hygiene becomes essential in preventing decay and gum disease. This includes plaque removal and treatment of gum infections, inflammation, and dental caries. The patient should look out for unusually colored patches, tooth decay, or ulcers.
Frequent visits to the dentist are necessary to help manage these complications and anything unusual should be reported immediately.
It is vital to detect, diagnose, and treat it as early as possible to avoid the devastating consequences of chronic dry mouth on dental and overall health. Dental clinics in Delhi and dental clinics in India, are taking special care to remind patients with dry mouth to be regular with their 6 monthly clean and checkup appointments.
To determine the cause of your dry mouth, your doctor likely will review your medical history and all medications you are taking and may examine your mouth.
To minimize dry mouth your dentist may suggest-
- Keep sipping water frequently to keep your mouth moist. Carry water with you to sip throughout the day and at night.
- Suck on sugar-free ice cubes, these will melt down slowly and will moisten your mouth. Use sugar free chewing gum. These sucking and chewing actions help stimulate your saliva flow.
- Eat soft, moist foods that are cool or at room temperature.
- Avoid mouth rinses that may contain alcohol or peroxide. These ingredients will further dry out your mouth.
- Minimize intake of salty foods, spicy or dry foods and foods and beverages with high sugar content.
- Reduce or avoid acidic drinks or drinks containing alcohol or caffeine (for example, coffees, teas, some colas, chocolate-containing drinks, fruit juices). Alcohol as well as caffeine increases water loss can make dry mouth worse
- Stop smoking.
- Protecting your teeth by brushing with soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste; rinse your mouth before and after meals with water.
- Use a room humidifier to add moisture to the bedroom air. This may help reduce dry mouth symptoms that develop during sleep.
- Try to breathe through your nose, not through your mouth, as much as possible
- The patient should not wear dentures during sleep. Dentures often harbor fungal infections, so they must be kept clean by overnight soaking.
- Eating such foods as carrots or celery may help with residual salivary gland function.
- Visiting your dentist regularly
If the measures above are unsuccessful, your dentist may suggest using an artificial saliva substitute that boosts saliva production. This may be in the form of a spray, lozenge or gel. Use it as often as you need to.
Finally, there are promising new treatments under investigation. Scientists are working on ways to repair salivary glands that have been damaged and are developing an artificial salivary gland that can be implanted into the body.
Dry mouth can have a number of effects on general health and well-being. Individuals with dry mouth find it harder to enjoy food affecting their appetite. Decreased saliva and dry mouth can be merely a nuisance and it can cause major impact on your general health as well.
Posted by- Dr Shriya