Saliva protects against tooth decay, aids in chewing and swallowing food, increases our sense of taste, and prevents infections from making their home in our mouths and throats. Dry mouth due to a lack of saliva may be caused by disease, by certain medications, by medical treatments like radiation, or by a combination of antihistamines and mouth breathing due to nasal congestion and allergies.
The first step in treatment is to get a proper diagnosis with the help of your dentist and doctor. Depending on the exact cause of your dry mouth, treatment may include
- Under your doctor’s supervision, evaluating the medications you take—including OTCs—and then decreasing, substituting for, or eliminating medications that cause dry mouth
- Decreasing your exposure to allergens and your need for antihistamines
- Exploring pain relief options that don’t include prescriptions known to cause dry mouth
- Having you sip small amounts of water throughout the day
- Increasing the humidity in your home
- Eliminating acidic beverages and foods
- Encouraging you to chew sugar-free gum and suck on sugar-free hard candy
- Adding a saliva-boosting prescription drug to your daily regimen
Remember, regular checkups are an important part of preventing tooth decay that can be associated with dry mouth and low saliva production. Contact our office at 610-942-3321 to schedule a checkup or to start exploring treatment for dry mouth.