What to do if I have dry mouth?

Dry mouth is a medical condition where the salivary glands in the mouth do not produce enough saliva to keep the mouth moist. In most cases, dry mouth condition is caused due to the ill-effects of certain medication, such as antihistamines, aging, or when a patient undergoes radiation therapy used for treating cancer.

Why is saliva essential for the mouth?

  • Our mouths contain thousands of bacteria that reside on the teeth, gums, tongue, and soft tissues of the mouth. As your day progresses, they feed on the food debris left in the mouth and release acids that can cause tooth decay and gum diseases. Saliva neutralizes these acids and prevents the damage that the teeth and gums can endure.
  • Saliva makes it easier for you to chew and swallow food.
  • Patients with a dry mouth may experience excessive bad breath as the growth of microbes in the mouth increases with lesser saliva.
  • Without enough saliva in the mouth, it will be difficult for you to taste the food.

Due to all these reasons, you need to keep your mouth moist. The condition may seem harmless when you first hear about it. But, when its severity increases, it can affect your overall health and have significant ill-effects on your teeth and gums.

How are antihistamines connected to dry mouth?

If you are allergic to any external elements, such as dust, pollen, pet dander, etc., your body produces a substance called histamines. They are responsible for allergic reactions, such as sneezing, redness, running nose, itching, nasal swelling, rashes, etc. A common way to treat such allergic reactions is using medication that contains antihistamines. They are used to counter allergies and are commonly prescribed by doctors.

However, antihistamines are known to have quite a few ill-effects, among which dry mouth condition is one. When your doctor suggests antihistamines for your allergy, it is best to get their opinion on how it may affect the production of saliva in your mouth. As a temporary relief, you may consider saliva substitutes or consuming sugarless candies to produce more saliva. If the condition persists or worsens, see a dentist at the earliest to get it diagnosed.

Call us (650) 348-5424 or schedule an online appointment with Dr. Dizik for a consultation at our office in San Mateo, CA.

    Contact Us

    Call today or schedule an appointment online and we will be in touch soon.

    Phone: (650) 348-5424

    We proudly serve the entire Bay Area including San Francisco, Daily City, San Bruno, Millbrae, Burlingame, San Mateo, San Carlos, and Redwood City. 

    Request an Appointment