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ASK YOUR DENTIST 4. - Xerostomia

“I am not sure if this is a dental problem, but my mouth is constantly dry. Does this have anything to do with dentistry, or is the problem related to some other issue, like with the endocrine system, or possibly hormones? I drink over 2 liters of water a day, and still my mouth is dry all the time! What can I do?”

Although the problem can indeed stem from somewhere else, xerostomia, or chronic dryness of the mouth, is very frequently caused by a dental problem. There are a number of dental problems that can be causing this, but first let’s make sure that the problem is not stemming from something else. Please fill out the checklist:

- Do you smoke? Smoking any substance will cause xerostomia.

- Do you drink alcohol on a regular basis? If so, that may be the cause of your xerostomia.

- Do you take mood enhancers, anti-anxiety medication or anti-depressants? All of these drugs cause xerostomia, and may be the cause of your troubles.

- Do you exercise frequently or engage in sport as a career? If you do athletics or perform some other sport on a regular basis, you may experience dry mouth even if you drink two liters of water. You may need up to 3-4 liters to maintain good hydration.

- Are you suffering from diabetes? Diabetes can cause dry mouth as a symptom,a s can many other diseases. The cancer medications that are based on biphosphonates can also cause dry mouth. Check all of the medication you take to see if side effects include dry mouth or xerostomia.


If none of these things are the case, then you may be suffering from the following dental ailments:

- Salioliths. You may have tiny stones, called salioliths or salivary glabnd stones blocking your slaivary gland openings. If this is the case, then your mouth will be dry because the saliva cannot come out of your salivary glands, as they are blocked. The way to check if you have this is to see if your salivary glands are swollen, reddish or otherwise discolored or if they have any sort of trouble with them. If you find that they are clogged, go to a dentist, do NOT try and remove them yourself, you will probably need oral surgery.

- Your gums are not getting enough blood because of an infection. The blood vessels in your gums are the ones that your salivary gland uses to live as well. When you have receded gums, you will experience dry mouth as a result. Usually, these vessels are blocked because either the capillaries are blocked, or because the tissue is too thick, and the capillaries are crunched up. In these cases the gums bleed a lot too.

- You may have open bite, which means that your bite does not close entirely when you bite down. In this case ai is constantly entering your mouth, drying out the surfaces it touches. Seek orthodontic assistance.

- You may have TMJ problems that cause your jaw to not close properly, leaving your mouth open, which can cause xerostomia as well. You will need to seek the help of an oral surgeon to remedy this situation.

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