Dry Mouth Syndrome

Dry mouth syndrome describes the persistent condition of dryness of the mouth. Patients may experience stickiness or dryness on their lips, cheeks or tongue continuously. Dry mouth syndrome’s symptoms are often present even if the patient is well hydrated.

Causes

As we all get older our saliva changes in volume and consistency. Not only do we produce less saliva but it becomes thicker and struggles to coat the mouth and teeth as easily. Several medications can also cause a reduction in saliva flow; including medications for blood pressure, heart rhythm, cholesterol, thyroid hormones and many others.

Treatment

Maintain a good level of hydration by drinking at least eight glasses of water per day. On top of hydration, you should limit your salt (or sodium) intake as well as your sugar intake. High sodium levels cause water to be taken out of the body and away from producing saliva.

Concerns

A dry mouth allows bacteria to grow more easily around the teeth and gums so problems can occur. However, with good home care and your regular maintenance visits as recommended by your dental hygienist, you should be able to keep your teeth strong and healthy. Be sure to mention to us if you think your mouth is feeling dry. We may give you specific instructions or suggest specific hygiene aids to help you with the issue.