Barnton Dental Spa - Edinburgh

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is a common oral problem that can lead to a range of dental health problems, on a long term or short term basis.

How is it caused?

It occurs when the salivary glands are not functioning correctly, but can also be brought on by certain medications, stress or as a result of smoking. It can become a long term, irreversible problem if it is brought on by medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes, and it can also be caused by radiotherapy or other medical treatments.

What are the effects?

Patients can suffer from difficulties related to sleeping, swallowing, eating and talking. Denture wearers may find it causes discomfort, while it can also affect one’s sense of taste and lead to a deep thirst. Other side effects include cracked lips and a burning feeling in the mouth. Saliva production cleans away plaque and food debris and is vital in good dental hygiene for preventing tooth decay. Without it the gums can become sore, swollen and bled in some cases. Dry mouth will often lead to sufferers having bad breath.

How can the symptoms be treated?

These symptoms can all be treated by making an appointment with your local dentist, upon which a thorough assessment will be undertaken and advice will be provided on what can be done to combat the condition.

What can I do to help?

If the cause is identified as being due to medication you can potentially change your prescription to prevent these side-effects, while a temporary solution would be to suck ice cubes or sugar-free sweets. The most important element in relieving dry mouth is having a way of introducing sustained moisture to the mouth. This can be accomplished by using either saliva substitutes or moisture gels.

What can I do to look after my mouth?

Maintaining a healthy mouth is vital for people who suffer from dry mouth. Oral hygiene can be enhanced and improved through the use of specialist products that will relieve the effects and release enzymes to increase protective elements in your saliva. Such products include sucking tablets, gel mouth sprays, moisturising gels, toothpastes, mouthwashes and gums, which will help your mouth remain healthy and moist if used on a daily basis.

How should I fit this into my normal dental regime?

You should brush your teeth at least twice every day and use mild antibacterial toothpaste. You should also use an interdental brush or floss to clean between the teeth. Keep moisture in your mouth for longer by rinsing with bioXtra mouth rinse, which will also clear food debris in areas of the mouth that are hard to reach when brushing.