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Dry Mouth

A dry mouth, or xerostomia, can be so annoying and uncomfortable - especially when it happens regularly. 

When a dry mouth doesn't go away it could mean you have a problem producing saliva. Everyone experiences a dry mouth from time to time. It could be caused by a number of different reasons. Some are more common than others. It causes a dry, sticky feeling in your mouth. It can very uncomfortable when it occurs on a regular basis. Having a dry mouth can cause terrible discomfort and it may be very concerning for you. If you ignore it, it can lead to more serious problems.

Symptoms of dry mouth

It’s not uncommon to experience a dry mouth. However having a dry mouth constantly can be a cause for concern. The most common symptoms of a dry mouth, are feeling dry or sticky in the mouth or throat, as well as having trouble chewing, swallowing or speaking. You may even experience a slight burning feeling in your mouth or throat. Some other symptoms of a dry mouth may include:

People with a dry mouth may also have more frequent tooth decay. This can lead to more serious dental problems. Regular dentist appointments are essential.

Causes of dry mouth

There's a few different reasons why you might experience a dry mouth. Some reasons more common than others. You could be experiencing a dry mouth due to the weather, not drinking enough water or sleeping with your mouth open. In these situations, dry mouth will go away or can easily be prevented.

Dry mouth could be caused by certain medications, from having cancer treatment or from smoking or using methamphetamine. Suffering from an autoimmune disorder such as Sjogren’s Syndrome will cause a dry mouth. This disease can affect the moisture-producing glands in the eyes and in the salivary glands in the mouth. Good oral hygiene and regular dentist visits can often prevent or help with dry mouth.

Have questions?

The price of treating a dry mouth depends on your situation and the cause of your dry mouth. In some situations dry mouth can be solved with a simple lifestyle change. In other cases, treating a dry mouth will be more difficult and you’ll need to visit your dentist or GP to help with treatment. When you visit your dentist or GP for a consultation they will give you an idea of the cost of treating your dry mouth and the best treatment option for you.

In some situations getting rid of a dry mouth is simple. If you drink more water or make a simple lifestyle change such as giving up smoking you will likely find your dry mouth resolves quickly. In other, more serious situations you will need to visit a dentist or a GP to help treat your dry mouth. If you suffer from a specific disease known to cause a dry mouth regularly, you should talk to your dentist or GP. They will help you with recommendations for treatment.

When you get a dry mouth on a regular basis it can be from something more serious. If left untreated, it could worsen or cause further problems. You could be experiencing a dry mouth from medications including cancer treatment, or you could suffer from an autoimmune disease. If you're concerned about having a dry mouth, book an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.

Yes. You can greatly reduce your chances of developing dry mouth by taking good care of your oral health. That means a combination of at-home dental care and building a great relationship with your dentist.

Drinking more water and sugarless drinks and avoiding drinks high in caffeine will help prevent dry mouth. Oral care products to help moisturise your mouth can also help. Avoiding tobacco and alcohol as well as minimising spicing and sugary foods will also help with prevention.

We recommend daily healthy habits and regular visits to the dentist. For optimum oral health:

  • Practice good oral hygiene habits at home including brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day
  • Book hygiene visits with an oral hygienist or oral health therapist twice each year
  • Book routine exam and x-rays visits with your dentist once each year

The Lumino Dental Plan is a cost-effective way to ensure your oral health is given the priority it deserves. It’s an affordable ongoing subscription plan that keeps you on top of your oral health. We know that when you look after your oral health properly with regular preventative care, you’ll be less likely to need to see a dentist in an emergency. You’re also likely to spend less money at the dentist over time.

We get it. We’re New Zealand’s largest group of dentists so we’ve seen more scared patients than any other dental practice in the country. For most people who are scared about visiting the dentist it’s because they’ve had a bad experience in the past. Relax. Our gentle and compassionate dentists understand how you feel. Whether you’re anxious or worried about experiencing more pain or the potential cost of the treatment, the best thing to do is to let us know how you feel. Making sure you feel comfortable is part of our job.