Xerostomia is the medical name for what is commonly referred to as dry mouth–when you do not produce the proper amount of saliva. A normal adult should generate around 3 pints of saliva each day, and it plays an important role in your overall health.
Enzymes in saliva help digest food and wash particles that cause decay away from your teeth. Saliva lubrication is necessary to swallow and speak clearly, as anyone who has suffered from stage fright will know. Probably most beneficial, saliva protects tooth enamel from harmful acids in food and drink.
While intermittent dry mouth should not be cause for alarm, chronic dry mouth is a serious condition that means you are consistently experiencing a lack of saliva in your mouth. This can be uncomfortable and have detrimental effects in the long-term.
In consultation with your dentist you can determine how to combat chronic dry mouth. It may be a simple fix like a stimulating your saliva glands by chewing gum or sucking on a candy, or it could be more intensive such as changing your diet or physical fitness. If these home remedies don’t take care of the problem, there are prescriptions for artificial saliva spray and medications you take by mouth.
After evaluation, your dentist might recommend that you see your medical doctor. There are those cases where dry mouth has been linked to depression, anxiety, and autoimmune disorders.
Dr. Tim Garofolo would be delighted to answer your questions regarding dry mouth. If we can help you in any way, please contact San Diego Dentistry Studio at: 858-257-3412, or drop by here in San Diego, California, today!