We all need saliva to moisten and cleanse our mouths and digest food. Saliva also prevents infection by controlling bacteria and fungi in the mouth. When we don’t produce enough saliva, our mouth gets dry and uncomfortable. Fortunately, there are many effective treatments for dry mouth.
There are several causes of dry mouth. Dry mouth is a common side effect of many prescription and nonprescription medications, including those used to treat depression, anxiety, pain, allergies, colds, diarrhea, nausea, psychotic disorders, urinary incontinence, asthma and Parkinson’s disease. Dry mouth can also occur after taking muscle relaxants and sedatives.
Common symptoms of dry mouth include:
• A sticky, dry feeling in the mouth.
• Frequent thirst.
• Sores in the mouth, sores or split skin at the corners of the mouth and cracked lips.
• A dry feeling in the throat.
• A burning or tingling sensation in the mouth and especially on the tongue.
• A dry, red, raw tongue.
• Hoarseness, dry nasal passages and a sore throat.
• Bad breath. Take the following steps to help improve saliva flow:
• Chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugarfree candy.
• Drink plenty of water to help keep your mouth moist.
• Protect your teeth by brushing with fluoride toothpaste, using a fluoride rinse and visiting your dentist regularly.
• Breathe through your nose, not your mouth, as much as possible.
• Use an over-the-counter artificial saliva substitute.
If you are experiencing dry mouth or other oral health issues, visit Smile Studio Associates Dentistry. Dr. Raul Gonzalez, clinical director, has been helping patients in Miami to achieve healthy and dazzling smiles for more than 15 years. He is trained in various specialties, including general, neuromuscular, sedation, and aesthetic and reconstructive dentistry, as well as orthodontics.
Dr. Gonzalez’s goal is to treat the whole family and educate patients that a spectacular smile does not simply make you feel better and have more confidence, but it is vital to your health and well-being.
Smile Studio Associates Dentistry has two locations to serve you: 4201 NW 107 Ave., Doral, 305-594-4418, and 1760 Coral Way, Coral Gables, 305-856-1488. For more information, visit <www.smilestudiodentistry.com>.