Oral and Overall Health
What do I need to know about dry mouth?
Everyone has a dry mouth once in a while, if they are nervous, upset or under stress. But if you have a dry mouth all or most of the time, it can be uncomfortable and can lead to serious health problems.
Dry mouth is not a normal part of aging. So if you think you have dry mouth, see your dentist or physician, there are things you can do to get relief.
What is dry mouth?
Dry mouth is the condition of not having enough saliva, or spit, to keep your mouth wet.
Why is saliva so important?
Saliva does more than keep the mouth wet.
Without enough saliva you can develop tooth decay or other infections in the mouth. You also might not get the nutrients you need if you cannot chew and swallow certain foods.
What causes dry mouth?
People get dry mouth when the glands in the mouth that make saliva are not working properly. Because of this, there might not be enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. There are several reasons why these glands (called salivary glands) might not work right.
What can be done about dry mouth?
Dry mouth treatment will depend on what is causing the problem. If you think you have dry mouth, see your dentist or physician. He or she can try to determine what is causing your dry mouth.
What can I do?
Tips for keeping your teeth healthy
Remember, if you have dry mouth, you need to be extra careful to keep your teeth healthy. Make sure you:
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD 20892-2190
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