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Dentistry Memphis

The Dangers of Dry Mouth

A close up of a man's smilePatients throughout Memphis can count on the team at Southwind Dental Care. We offer the latest in cosmetic services to enhance the look of your smile as well as advanced restorative dentistry to improve overall dental health and wellness. This includes addressing issues such as dry mouth, which may seem like a minor inconvenience but can actually pose a number of dangers to your overall wellness.

About Dry Mouth

Dry mouth, as indicated by its name, is a condition in which your mouth feels excessively dry. This can be caused by a number of things, but is typically known as simply a nuisance that goes away on its own after a short amount of time. Often times, even a glass of water immediately after you notice dry mouth can ease the symptoms, or completely eradicate them altogether.

However, dry mouth over an extended period of time can lead to additional complications, such as extreme bad breath and exacerbated tooth decay and gum disease. Prolonged dry mouth may also be a sign of a serious dental health problem, such as oral cancer. It's important to bring up issues with prolonged dry mouth with your dentist as soon as possible.

Potential Dangers from Serious Dry Mouth

Here are some of the potential dangers of extended periods of dry mouth:

  • Increased risk for tooth decay and gum disease
  • Increased risk for mouth sores
  • Potential for fungal infection in your mouth
  • Excessive coating on your tongue
  • Sores or cracked skin in your mouth
  • Increased risk of elongated periods of cracked lips
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing, leading to additional nutritional deficiencies

Find Medications That Do Not Cause Dry Mouth

If you are on any medications that you think may be causing your dry mouth, consult your doctor and ask if you can be put on an alternative prescription that would not cause you dry mouth. If the condition persists, your doctor may also recommend medications that stimulate saliva to avoid any additional dangers of extended periods of dry mouth. Your doctor may also be able to prescribe you additional products to moisturize your mouth.

Treating Dry Mouth at Home

In less severe cases, there are a number of things you can do on your own to treat your dry mouth. As mentioned earlier, sipping water or chewing on sugar-free gum can help stimulate the production of saliva. You may also find over-the-counter saliva substitutes at your local pharmacy. However, before proceeding with these substitutes, it would be best to notify your doctor before administering these to yourself.

Addressing the Side Effects of Dry Mouth

Beyond these treatments, you can apply moisturizers to both your lips and to the air you are breathing at night. Common materials such as Vaseline are great to use overnight, as they produce soft, moisturized lips when you wake up in the morning. You can also consider a number of room humidifiers to increase the moisture in your room as you sleep, increasing your chances of avoiding the dangers of dry mouth on a nightly basis.

Learn More About Dental Care Options

For more information about treating dry mouth and other dental care issues, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. We look forward to your visit and helping you achieve excellent dental health.

Tagged In: Dry Mouth, General Dentistry, Restorative Dentistry

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I have been to several dentists in the Memphis Area and I have finally found THE ONE!! Dr. Messer is the best dentist I have ever been to. I have complete confidence in any procedure that he performs and I can't imagine ever going to any other dentist.

-Meredith Page B.