Xerostomia is the dental terminology for what is also called dry mouth—a lack of saliva production in the mouth. Normally, a typical adult will create around 3 pints of saliva every day, and it plays an integral part in your whole body’s health.
The enzymes in your saliva aid in digesting food and washing particles that cause decay away from your teeth. Mouth lubrication from saliva is important for swallowing and enables you to speak clearly–as anyone who has suffered nervousness from stage fright will understand. Probably most crucial, saliva defends the tooth enamel from harmful acids in food and drink.
When infrequent, dry mouth is not a problem, but chronic dry mouth is harmful. Habitually enduring a shortage of mouth saliva can be uncomfortable and have detrimental effects over time.
In a discussion with your dentist, you can agree on a procedure of how to treat your chronic dry mouth. It may be an uncomplicated fix like exciting the salivary glands by chewing gum or sucking on a candy, or it might be more ambitious such as revamping your diet and/or committing to physical fitness. If these home remedies don’t resolve the problem, there are prescriptions for artificial saliva spray and medications you take by mouth.
After visiting with your dentist, we may refer you to your medical doctor for applicable treatment. There are some situations where dry mouth has been affiliated with depression, anxiety, and autoimmune disorders.
Dr. Beck would be delighted to answer your questions regarding dry mouth. If we can help you in any way, please contact Quail Ridge Dental at 509-396-6950, or drop by in Kennewick, Washington.