What is dry mouth, and what treatment options are available?

Xerostomia, commonly known in the medical field as dry mouth, is a condition that occurs when there is a decrease in the amount of saliva produced. This can happen for many reasons and can significantly impact your overall quality of life. If you are experiencing dryness in your mouth, it is best to speak with Dr. Richard J. Koeltl of RK Dentistry in Danville, California, about possible underlying causes and treatment options to help manage this condition. With his whole-body approach to dentistry, many patients will find that their condition may be caused by medication that can be readjusted to address this problem. If left untreated, it can result in further problems such as periodontal disease and tooth decay.

What are the signs of dry mouth?

Symptoms of xerostomia may include:

  • Dryness or stickiness in the mouth and throat
  • Difficulty swallowing or speaking due to excessive drying of the mucous membranes inside the mouth and throat
  • A burning sensation on the tongue or other areas inside the mouth, especially after eating or drinking
  • Bad breath and a sour taste in the mouth

What can cause dry mouth?

Xerostomia can be caused by:

  • Some medications
  • Chemotherapy treatments for cancer patients
  • Radiation therapy to the area around salivary glands as a treatment for other cancers, such as head and neck tumors or thyroid cancer
  • Autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus

Is there a cure for dry mouth?

While there is no specific “cure” for dry mouth, the good news is that dry mouth can usually be treated without any long-term complications or side effects. Some treatment options or lifestyle changes to help with dry mouth include:

  • Drinking water frequently to stay hydrated
  • Sip sugarless drinks, avoiding coffee, tea, and carbonated beverages, throughout the day
  • Avoiding alcohol can also help promote saliva production
  • Chewing sugarless gum or sucking on ice chips are other ways to keep your mouth moist if you have trouble drinking enough fluids to stay hydrated

Request an appointment at our practice to learn more about xerostomia

As always, it’s best to speak with our team about any concerns you may be having regarding dry mouth so we can develop an appropriate treatment plan that fits your needs.

Call Dr. Richard J. Koeltl of RK Dentistry in Danville, CA, at 925-732-5516 to request a consultation appointment.