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If you are having unusually dry mouth symptoms, you are not alone. Dry mouth commonly arises when saliva produced is decreased by the salivary glands in the mouth. This can develop as a side effect of medication or even a condition that directly affects the salivary glands. Saliva helps prevent tooth decay by neutralizing acids produced by bacteria and by limiting bacterial growth, making it essential to good oral health. It washes away food particles and makes it easier for you to swallow. In addition to enhancing your ability to taste, it also helps your digestion.

Signs of dry mouth:

–Thick or stringy saliva
–Dryness in the mouth and throat
–An unusual sense of taste
–Unpleasant breath
–Having a hard time chewing, talking or swallowing
–Difficulty wearing dentures
–More tooth decay
–Irritated gums or gum disease

So what can you do if you have dry mouth? To stimulate saliva flow, you can chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free hard candies. Cut back on caffeine, as it contributes to dry mouth. Alcohol also is drying so avoid alcohol-based mouthwashes, opting for a mouthwash designed for dry mouth like Biotene Dry Mouth Oral Rinse or ACT Total Care Dry Mouth Rinse. Chewing or smoking tobacco causes dry mouth (yet another good reason to stop). If you are using over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants these can make your symptoms worse. Sip water frequently during the day and finally, use a room air humidifier while you sleep (especially if you breathe through your mouth).

If these steps don’t help with your dry mouth, see Dr. Letitia Williams to rule out other conditions. Medications are one of the most common causes of dry mouth. Long-term relief from your dry mouth may mean addressing an underlying health issue, stopping or changing your medication or altering the dosage. If you have any questions or concerns, give our team a call at 334.738.3111 today!