Dry mouth can absolutely devastate a patient if they’re not careful. Typically as we go through life and we begin taking more medications, or for those who may have had radiation or chemotherapy for different cancer treatments, especially in the head and neck region, dry mouth becomes a very real problem. And so with dry mouth, you lose the lubrication of your saliva to help clean the teeth, to remove food debris, to remove plaque that begins to form on the teeth. And as that happens, it creates an environment very friendly for cavities to start to form. Helping with dry mouth is very important for a patient and it’s very important for us to take a part in that.
There are certainly several products that are out on the market, but it can be difficult sometimes to determine exactly what’s gonna be the most helpful. And so that’s where we come in and help them to figure out what’s the right plan for a patient. We also have products in our office that are available for patients to try and see if that is a good solution for them. We use a product called StellaLife. It has a mouth rinse very similar to a mouth wash. And it also has a gel that you can use in specific areas for a more targeted approach for those dry mouth patients and it makes them much more comfortable.
We’ll Find the Root Cause of Your Dry Mouth Problem
Having a chronic dry mouth is no fun. Besides making you feel uncomfortable and thirsty all the time, this condition can cause other problems. Your mouth needs sufficient saliva to wash food particles away and prevent the buildup of plaque and bacteria that cause cavities. Also, with a chronic dry mouth you’re more likely to have bad breath, which can lead to embarrassing social encounters.
There are many potential reasons that your mouth may be dry, including:
- Prescription and over-the-counter medications like antihistamines, decongestants, and antidepressants
- Certain medical conditions like Sjögren’s syndrome, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders
- Radiation therapy for head and neck cancer that causes damage to your salivary glands
- The aging process, as your salivary glands can produce less saliva as you get older
- Smoking and tobacco use
We’ll identify the root cause. Then we can make recommendations for lifestyle changes and/or specialty products to help keep your mouth lubricated and improve your everyday quality of life.