Dry Mouth Syndrome/Burning Mouth Syndrome
Dry mouth-or xerostomia, refers to a condition in which the salivary glands in your mouth don’t make enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. Burning mouth syndrome is burning pain in the mouth that may occur every day for months or longer. Dry mouth is often due to the side effect of certain medications or aging issues or as a result of radiation therapy for cancer.
Burning mouth syndrome does not have a specific reason as to why it starts. Your doctor or dentist will rule out other conditions before diagnosing burning mouth syndrome. No specific treatment works for all people. However, your doctor can prescribe medicine to help you manage mouth pain. Saliva helps prevent tooth decay by neutralizing acids produced by bacteria, limiting bacterial growth and washing away food particles. Saliva also enhances your ability to taste and makes it easier to chew and swallow. In addition, enzymes in saliva aid in digestion.
Treatment for both dry mouth and burning mouth can consist of the following:
- Sipping on cold beverages, suck ice chips or chew sugarless gum.
- Over the counter medicines that moisturize the inside of your mouth and gums.
- Biotene is a highly recommended product that can relieve both dry and burning mouth.
- It comes in not only rinses but toothpaste and lozenges.
Things to avoid:
- Hot, spicy food
- Alcoholic beverages
- Mouthwashes that contain alcohol
- Products high in acid, such as citrus fruits and juices.
When to see a doctor:
If you’ve noticed persistent dry mouth or burning mouth and gums make an appointment with either your dentist or family doctor. Your doctor will help you get relief.