Xerostomia or dry mouth syndrome can be caused by various conditions and factors. These include:
- An autoimmune disease (lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or Sjogren’s Syndrome)
- Sinus problems
- An infection
- Certain medications (antihistamines, anti-depression and anxiety pills, etc.)
However, according to Sterling Heights dentist, Dr. Farhat, Owner of Dental 1 Care, there is another lesser known cause of xerostomia: salivary stones.
Salivary stones or sialolith are crystallized minerals that get lodged in your salivary gland ducts. They hinder or cause blockage to the discharge of your saliva, thereby causing the onset of sudden dry mouth syndrome.
Salivary stones are typically made up of salts contained in your saliva. These stones are often found and can cause blockage within your submandibular salivary gland, on the sides of your jaw in the back of your mouth.
Sometimes, the salivary stones may not cause symptoms because the blockage of saliva is minimal. Because of this, you won’t notice the dryness in your mouth.
When you do nothing to address this health problem, you will soon have difficulties swallowing and feel pain whenever you open your mouth. Your salivary gland will begin to swell painfully, too.
Most of the time, your pain and swelling symptoms from sialolith will worsen while you eat. These symptoms may slowly subside until your next meal. However, you will still feel that your mouth is dry.
To naturally get rid of salivary stones, suck on a piece of lemon several times a day. The lemon will stimulate saliva production. Your saliva will then dislodge the crystals and free up the passageway. As a result, saliva will flow freely and resolve your dry mouth problem.
Other Risks of Dry Mouth Professionally Known as Xerostomia
Failing to address your xerostomia can cause certain dental issues. When your mouth is dry, your gums will not receive sufficient moisture to stay healthy. Tooth decay can then begin along the gum line. If not treated immediately, your gums will reside and expose the dentine or layer of teeth below the gum line. This layer does not have the protective enamel and, as such, can be quickly attacked by dental caries.
Your lower front teeth, which are normally protected by saliva produced from underneath the tongue, will be prone to cavities, too, if you suffer from dry mouth.
In case chewing on lemon does not seem to alleviate the symptoms of xerostomia, consult your doctor immediately. If left untreated, saliva blockage by stones can cause an infection since bacteria can grow in a blocked duct filled with stagnant saliva. It can also cause the development of abscess and your salivary gland tissues being destroyed.
If you are suffering from chronic dry mouth we recommend visiting your Sterling Heights Dentist for regular dental exams and treatment.