Understanding and Managing Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)

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Oral hygiene in Staten Island, NY

Dry mouth, or Xerostomia, is a common condition that impacts many individuals. It occurs when the salivary glands in your mouth don’t produce enough saliva to keep your mouth moist. This lack of healthy saliva levels can lead to various unpleasant symptoms, including bad breath, a burning sensation in the mouth, severe tooth decay, mouth sores and even gum disease. Additionally, it can make speaking, eating and wearing dental appliances more challenging.

The Role Saliva Plays in Oral Health

Saliva plays a crucial role in your oral health. It’s composed of 99% water and a 1% mix of enzymes, mucous and electrolytes. It’s produced by three primary sets of glands: the parotid, sublingual and submandibular. Together, these glands generate approximately two and a half cups of saliva daily. Saliva not only initiates the digestion process by breaking down the food you eat but also helps keep your mouth clean and moist. It contains essential minerals like calcium and phosphorus, which are vital for tooth health.

Factors Leading To Dry Mouth

  • Anxiety
  • Dehydration
  • Mouth breathing
  • Smoking
  • Some prescription medications
  • The natural aging process

Managing Dry Mouth

To manage dry mouth, effective treatments are available. Simple lifestyle changes like increasing water intake, practicing nasal breathing and using a humidifier can significantly alleviate your symptoms. Moreover, salivary stimulants such as Xylimelt or Mightea Flow lozenges, Spry Dry Mouth Spray, BioSal, or prescription medications, may also be recommended depending on the severity of your condition.

Consult With a Dental Professional

It’s essential to consult with a healthcare or dental professional, such as our dedicated dentists, Dr. Louis Sterling and Dr. Sara Skurnick, to accurately determine the cause of xerostomia before starting any self-treatment. They can offer personalized advice and treatment options tailored to your specific needs, ensuring your mouth remains healthy and comfortable. If you have questions or concerns about your oral health, please call our team at Louis P. Sterling, DDS, PC. Call 718-980-0006 today!