Everyone has experienced the feeling of having a parched mouth from time to time. People actually used to refer to it as “cottonmouth.” But if it develops into a chronic problem, it becomes a condition known as “dry mouth” and will require treatment.

The first step is to find the cause. Dry mouth may be a side effect of either a medication that you have been taking or an underlying disease. There are several prescription and over the counter drugs that can encourage dry mouth including some painkillers and blood pressure medicine, among others. Diseases sometimes associated with dry mouth are diabetes, hypertension, and anemia, to name a few.

There are particular symptoms to look for that may accompany dry mouth. Your dentist may ask if you seem to be more thirsty than usual, if you are experiencing difficulty speaking clearly, eating or if you have noticed a change in how food tastes to you. He will also look for signs of mouth sores, chapped lips or an unnatural redness of the tongue.

Dry mouth, just as it sounds, is associated with a lack of sufficient saliva. The mouth is a natural breeding place for bacteria, so it produces saliva in order to wash away a good portion of that bacteria and protect against infection.

The treatment for dry mouth may be as simple as changing a medication or adjusting the dosage. Your dentist may recommend using a home vaporizer to increase the moisture in the air that you breathe in. He may also suggest an increase in the amount of your daily water intake and keeping a supply of sugar free hard candies or chewing gum on hand. Breathing through your nose instead of your mouth is a good habit to adapt. In addition, there is a medication available on the market that is used to simulate natural saliva.

Follow your dentist’s advice and do whatever you can to increase your flow of saliva. If left untreated dry mouth can contribute to gum disease and tooth decay.

Schedule your appointment with Spokane Valley Dentistry today. Call 509-926-6261 in Spokane Valley, WA.