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Chronic Dry Mouth: Common Causes and Treatment

For most people, dry mouth is a passing discomfort. However, in some cases, it’s a chronic condition that requires treatment.

Here’s what you need to know about chronic dry mouth, which is also known as xerostomia.


What causes chronic dry mouth?

Here are of some things that commonly lead to chronic dry mouth:

  • Medications Many medications, including a number of over-the-counter drugs, cause dry mouth. This includes numerous antihistamines, decongestants, pain medications, muscle relaxants, and drugs used to treat depression, anxiety, and high blood pressure.

  • Smoking The nicotine in tobacco decreases saliva production, so people who smoke or vape frequently have dry mouth symptoms.

  • Health conditions There are a number of health conditions that can cause or contribute to dry mouth including strokes, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases.

Other possible causes of chronic dry mouth include mouth breathing, snoring, and damage to the salivary glands.


When is dry mouth a problem?

If dry mouth is a temporary condition, it generally isn’t an issue. For example, some people get temporary dry mouth after consuming caffeinated beverages or eating spicy food.

Chronic dry mouth, however, is another matter. If your mouth is frequently dry, it’s important to seek treatment. In addition to being uncomfortable and causing bad breath, chronic dry mouth can cause a range of unpleasant symptoms including mouth pain as well as difficulty chewing, swallowing, and speaking. Moreover, it can be an indicator of a number of more serious underlying problems such as dehydration, nerve damage, or a yeast infection.


How is chronic dry mouth treated?

Chronic dry mouth can cause several oral health problems. Fortunately, your dentist can help you take measures to prevent cavities, oral infections, and other issues associated with dry mouth.

Sometimes changing your habits (such as by giving up smoking or switching your medications after discussing options with your doctor) can remedy dry mouth. However, if your condition is caused by an inherent issue, your best resource is your dentist.

Your family dentist can prescribe or recommend medications that stimulate saliva production including special gels, sprays, and lozenges. A doctor or dentist can also assess whether there are underlying issues causing your dry mouth such as nasal congestion.


Visit Your Family Dentist in SE Calgary to Address Dry Mouth

If you think you have chronic dry mouth, contact the family dental clinic Forest Lawn Dental Centre for a full dental exam and teeth cleaning and effective treatment options. We’re welcoming and accepting new patients at our Southeast Calgary clinic. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.




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