Dry Mouth and Mouth Sores
If you have dry mouth with mouth sores, it's difficult to enjoy your food. There are many causes of dry mouth and mouth sores. Some may even be due to your toothpaste or other products you use for your oral hygiene. According to NIH National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research, saliva is extremely important to a healthy mouth and other functions. Speaking, eating and and swallowing would be very difficult, if not impossible.
Saliva functions include:
1. Helps digest food
2. Protects teeth from tooth decay
3. Prevents infection by helping to neutralize acids in the mouth
4. Makes chewing and swallowing possible
Xerostomia (dry mouth) can cause sores in the mouth, cracks on the corners of the mouth and lips, a burning sensation in the mouth and even dry, red raw tongue. In severe situations, swallowing and speaking will become difficult too. Another common side effect to dry mouth is gum disease. For people who have dentures, it can make it difficult to wear them.
Dry Mouth Causes
Aging - Seniors tend to take medications that have dry mouth as a side effect.
Medications - Several prescription and non-prescription drugs, including those to treat depression, anxiety, pain, allergies, nausea, muscle relaxants and sedatives, Sjorgren's Syndrome, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer's, fibromyalgia, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis among others have side effects that contribute to dry mouth
Cancer therapy - Cancer treatment with chemotherapy or radiation, may result in nerve damage to the head and neck which may cause dry mouth.
Health disorders - Infections or conditions such as Sjorgren's Syndrome, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, autoimmune disorders, depression, anxiety, and stress may cause dry mouth.
Head & neck nerve damage - Any damage to the nerve during surgery or from trauma may result in permanent dry mouth.
Dry mouth at night, mouth breathing, or snoring - Mouth breathing dries the tissues and contributes to dry mouth, as does snoring. Morning bad breath can be caused by mouth breathing during sleep.
Tobacco and alcohol - Either smoking or chewing tobacco and alcohol drinks or mouthwash, can cause dry mouth.
Dry mouth diabetes - If you have diabetes, make sure to practice good home oral hygiene, or you may suffer with dry mouth, gum disease and tooth decay.
What Happens When You Have Dry Mouth
Dry mouth means your saliva is not producing as it should. As a result, the following may be what you experience:
1. Dry mouth with sticky feeling in the mouth
2. Dry throat and difficulty tasting food or speaking
3. Bad breath
4. Difficulty swallowing
5. Taste change
6. Tooth decay
7. Gum sensitivity and gum disease
8. Mouth sores
9. Cracked lips
What to Do For Dry Mouth
The steps below will help dry mouth. The treatment, and how Cleure can help depends on the cause of your dry mouth. Below are some suggestions:
1. If the cause is medications, ask your physician about alternatives to the drugs you're currently taking.
2. Drink plenty of water to keep your mouth moist.
3. Use a small spray bottle filled with alcohol-free mouthwash and spray as needed in your mouth. This will help neutralize the acids, help increase salivary flow and help with bad breath.
4. Suck on xylitol breath drops or chew xylitol chewing gum. Xylitol has been shown to help increase salivary flow.
5. Use a room vaporizer to add moisture to the room.
6. Use an over-the-counter artificial saliva substitute such as Salivart. According to Mayo Clinic your physician or dentist may prescribe pilocarpine (Salagen) or cevimeline (Evoxac) to stimulate saliva production.
7. Brush with SLS-free toothpaste to help continue to promote saliva with xylitol and prevent tooth decay.
8. Make sure to get regular professional cleanings with your dentist or dental hygienist.
9. If you're prone to developing tooth decay, rinse every night with a fluoride rinse.
10. Avoid tobacco or alcohol.
11. Avoid caffeine, which can dry the mouth.
Flora Parsa Stay, D.D.S.
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