December 4, 2021
When you hear the words “dry mouth”, you may think of what you experience when you wake up in the morning or if you’re thirsty after a good workout. But the reality is dry mouth is a condition known as xerostomia that can strike a person at any age. Keep reading to find out more about dry mouth, including why you should take it seriously and how to treat it.
What Is Dry Mouth?
Dry mouth occurs when your salivary glands do not produce enough saliva to keep your mouth moist. It can cause oral discomfort and may also lead you to experience a sore throat, cough, and/or bad breath. Cracked lips, sores on and around the lips, and persistent thirst are also key symptoms of dry mouth.
How Dry Mouth Affects Children, Adults, and Older Adults
As much as 65 percent of the population experiences dry mouth, and the cause can vary slightly depending on a person’s age. The most common causes by age group are listed below:
- Children may experience the condition due to mouth breathing, or when they lose excessive fluids due to a stomach bug or from playing outside in the hot weather. It may also be a side effect of treatment for childhood cancer or other serious diseases.
- Adults may notice the side effects of dry mouth due to medications for high blood pressure, allergies, or the flu. It can also be caused by diseases like Parkinson’s.
- Older adults are the most frequent sufferers of dry mouth due to the increased likelihood of having a disease or taking medication that causes the condition. Dry mouth occurs for the same reasons in this demographic that it does for children and adults.
Treatment for Dry Mouth
No matter your age, dry mouth is not something you should live with. It is certainly not a simple side effect of getting older.
If you believe you are dealing with dry mouth, some easy ways to combat this issue include:
- Stay hydrated! Drink plenty of water throughout the day, and avoid dehydrating beverages like coffee, alcohol, and caffeinated tea and soda
- Chew sugar-free gum to encourage saliva production
- Do not smoke or use other forms of tobacco
- Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, and avoid salty snacks
- Talk to your doctor about medications you take that may be causing dry mouth
To sum it up, dry mouth is an actual condition that can affect people of all ages. There are plenty of ways to alleviate the issue – and talking to your dentist or doctor is a great place to start!
Meet the Dentist
Dr. Shiloh Lindsey was born and raised in the Fort Collins area and is pleased to provide high-quality dentistry for her neighbors at Aspen Dental Care. Dr. Lindsey’s resume includes graduating from dental school Summa Cum Laude and being the valedictorian at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center School of Dentistry. She continues to stay up-to-date on the latest advances in dentistry through routine continuing education courses. To learn more about dry mouth treatment or to schedule an appointment for a general checkup, contact the office by calling (970) 482-3166 today.
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