Why is saliva so important?
When you don’t produce enough saliva, your mouth can become dry and uncomfortable. Saliva is important as it:
- Moistens and cleanses your mouth
- Protects your teeth and gums
- Helps prevent tooth decay
- Allows you to chew, swallow and digest food.
What causes dry mouth?
It can be a common side effect of:
- Prescription and non-prescription medication
- Medical treatment
- Nerve damage
- Lifestyle habits like smoking.
Signs and symptoms
If you’re suffering from dry mouth, you may experience:
- A sticky, dry feeling in the mouth and throat
- Constantly feeling thirsty
- A burning or tingling sensation in the mouth and on the tongue
- Oral ulcers, split skin or cracked lips
- Difficulty speaking, chewing, swallowing or reduced ability to taste
- Dry nasal passages
- Bad breath.
Dry mouth treatment
If you think you have dry mouth speak with your Health Partners Dentist. They’ll assess and determine the most suitable treatment option for you.
In the meantime, to help improve your saliva flow, try:
- Sucking on sugar-free candy or chewing sugar-free gum
- Drinking plenty of water to help keep your mouth moist
- Breathing through your nose, not your mouth, as much as possible
- Using a room vaporiser to add moisture to the bedroom.