Don't Let Dry Mouth Go Undiagnosed

Do you think you might have dry mouth? While it may seem like a minor nuisance, dry mouth can cause a lot of problems for your overall dental health and shouldn't be left untreated. This guide will help you to identify dry mouth symptoms, teach you about the risks it can pose to your teeth and gums and what kind of treatment is available.


Dry mouth is called that because it leaves your mouth feeling dry, but it also has many other symptoms. If you're experiencing any of the following, you might be suffering from dry mouth:

  • Sticky - Stickiness in the mouth and saliva is often caused by dry mouth. Your dentist may have told you that you have sticky plaque, which is particularly harmful to teeth.
  • Difficulty Swallowing - Saliva acts like a lubricant to help food break down in the mouth, and without it, you might have problems eating drier or thick foods.
  • Cracking - Dry mouth symptoms aren't limited to the inside of your mouth. If your lips are chronically cracking, splitting or bleeding, this could be a symptom of dry mouth.

Higher Risk of Dental Disease

Unfortunately, having dry mouth puts you at a higher risk of cavities and gum disease. While you may have been told that saliva is full of bacteria, it's also what helps to break down bacteria before it can hurt your teeth and gums. When you produce enough saliva, your teeth and gums are constantly being washed in saliva, which helps to loosen food particles and prevent bacteria from growing and creating plaque. Without sufficient saliva, food particles and bacteria just sit on and between your teeth, growing rapidly and producing plaque.

Without adequate saliva your gums are also put at a higher risk of developing gum disease. If caught early, gum disease can be controlled and reversed, but if it goes unchecked it can eventually result in bone loss, tooth loss and severe life-threatening infections that travel through the bloodstream to other parts of your body.

Get Treatment

To diagnose, monitor and treat your dry mouth condition, you should see a dentist. Your dentist will not only be able to reduce your risk of developing cavities and gum disease, but may be able to prescribe medications to increase the amount of saliva your mouth produces.

If you're taking any prescription medications, consult with a doctor as well: over 400 medications can cause dry mouth, so there's a chance that a medication you're taking is causing it. Your doctor may be able to prescribe an alternate medication that serves the same purpose but doesn't have the same side effects.

Dry mouth is more than an inconvenience: when left untreated, it can cause serious damage to your mouth and overall health. Thankfully, with monitoring and treatment you can reduce the risk of dental damage. Contact a clinic such as Eden Prairie Dental Care for more information.