How do I know if my Mouth is Dry?
If you have a dry mouth (also known as xerostomia) you may experience other symptoms such as:
- Dry lips
- Bad breath
- A change in sense of taste
- Frequent mouth infections for example thrush
- Gum disease and tooth decay
- Trouble eating, swallowing and speaking
- A burning sensation in the mouth or a sore mouth
Saliva is so important in keeping your mouth healthy, you should visit a dentist regularly and mention any of the above symptoms if you have them. They may refer you to a doctor.
What Causes a Dry Mouth?
If the salivary glands in your mouth don’t produce enough saliva, your mouth will get dry. More often than not, this is a result of dehydration. It’s also quite normal to have a dry mouth when you are feeling nervous or anxious.
Sometimes there could be other issues which cause a dry mouth, so it’s always best to see a GP to rule them out:
- Sjogren’s syndrome (where the immune system damages the salivary glands)
- A blocked nose
- Medication – one of the side effects of some medications is a dry mouth
- Radiotherapy to head and neck – this can cause inflammation to the salivary glands
How can I Treat a Dry Mouth?
Finding the cause is the first step. A Doctor or Dentist will help you with this. In the meantime, you can try and help yourself by:
- Drinking more water
- Suck on ice cubes, sugar-free sweets or chew sugar-free gum
- Avoid alcohol (watch out as there is alcohol in some mouthwashes!, avoid caffeine and smoking too.
You should see your GP if you have an unusually dry mouth so they can find out the cause and treat you accordingly.