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Dry mouth, officially called Xerostomia, is an oral health problem that many Americans experience. Dry mouth is usually the result of a lack of saliva produced in the mouth and is often a side effect of medication.

While dry mouth is common, it is not something to be taken lightly. For most, dry mouth is just a nuisance. For some, it interferes with their daily routine and general health, making it hard for them to eat due to pain and loss of appetite.

Symptoms

If you notice the following symptoms in your own life, you may have chronic xerostomia and should see a dentist for relief:

  • Dryness in your mouth or throat
  • Saliva that seems thick and stringy
  • Bad breath
  • Difficulty chewing, speaking, or swallowing
  • A changed sense of taste
  • Gum irritation

Causes

There are many reasons a person may develop dry mouth. Here are a few of the most common causes:

  • Medications
  • Aging
  • Cancer therapy
  • Nerve damage
  • Tobacco use
  • Snoring/breathing with open mouth
  • Stroke
  • Alzheimer’s disease

Preparing for your Appointment

Before you schedule an appointment with your dentist, you should be properly prepared to make the most of your visit. Make a list of any symptoms you are experiencing, personal information, all prescribed medications, and any questions you may have.

What to Expect from your Doctor

Your dentist is likely to ask you lots of questions – be sure you are ready to answer them. Some of them might include:

  • When did you start experiencing symptoms?
  • Have your symptoms been occasional or continuous?
  • Does anything worsen your symptoms?
  • Does anything help relieve your symptoms?

Complications can develop from dry mouth if it is not taken care of properly. If you are experiencing symptoms of dry mouth, there is no need to live with it any longer. Call and schedule an appointment with your family dentist today.