If you are one of many who suffer from dry mouth, you know that this condition can severely hamper such everyday activities as eating and talking. But did you know that there are dry mouth treatment options?
The Importance of Saliva
- Saliva helps to keep the teeth and gums clean, so people with dry mouth are at higher risk for tooth decay and gum disease.
- Saliva also helps to digest food and protect your mouth from infection by killing bacteria and fungi.
- Dry mouth also can make it difficult to speak, swallow, taste, and chew. In severe cases, eating might be so painful that dry mouth sufferers don’t get proper nutrition.
Causes of Dry Mouth
Nerves or stress can cause occasional dry mouth, and it can also be a side effect of oral conscious sedation. But persistent dry mouth typically is caused by one of the following:
- Diseases, such as Sjogren’s syndrome, lupus, and diabetes
- Medications, such as those for high blood pressure, or chemotherapy
- Radiation during cancer treatment
- Injury to the head or neck that result in nerve damage
Treating Dry Mouth
The important function of saliva makes prevention of dry mouth an important priority. To mitigate the effects of medication or diseases that cause dry mouth, we recommend the following:
- Don’t smoke. Smoking decreases the moisture in your mouth (not to mention staining your teeth).
- Limit alcohol and caffeine, both of which tend to dry the mouth.
- Chew sugarless gum to stimulate the salivary glands.
- Run a humidifier in your bedroom at night.
- Use an artificial saliva product to keep your mouth lubricated.
CoQ10 To The Rescue
There is some evidence to suggest that treatment with a natural supplement can relieve dry mouth. Coenzyme Q10 (or CoQ10) is a natural substance that produces energy for cell growth and maintenance.
In a recent study, a CoQ10 supplement was shown to increase salivary flow among women. Study participants also reported other benefits from increased salivary flow, such as lower anxiety, improved sleep, and less frequent urination. Study co-author, Dr. Ichiro Saito, attributed the positive effects of CoQ10 to an increase in energy production, metabolism, and antioxidant activity in the salivary glands.
If you’re seeking dry mouth treatment, contact our Houston dentists to find out how we can help you.