If you’ve noticed that you frequently suffer from dry mouth, it is important to take care of it. Dry mouth can have various causes, including medication side effects, dehydration, and Sjögren disease, which affects the salivary glands. Our dentist in Wicker Park explains more about Sjögren disease and how it can cause dry mouth below.
Sjögren disease is an autoimmune disease that can result in poor functioning or destruction of the lacrimal and salivary glands, reducing the amount of saliva in the mouth and causing dryness of the eyes. It also causes fatigue and other systemic symptoms.
This disease can negatively affect your dental health through drying of the mouth tissues. Without adequate saliva, it’s difficult to chew and break down food properly, wash away food and debris from the teeth and gums, and ensure there are enough disease-fighting substances in the mouth. Left untreated, patients with this disease can experience:
It is recommended that people with dry mouth avoid smoking, alcohol, and low-humidity environments as much as possible.
If you believe that you have this condition, talk with your doctor for screening and diagnosis. There are other symptoms aside from dry mouth, such as fatigue and anemia, that should be addressed by your primary care doctor. Sjögren disease can also be a risk factor for other diseases that your doctor will advise you on.
However, our dentist can assist with evaluating salivary gland function and addressing dry mouth symptoms to help prevent damage to the teeth and mouth tissues. Our dentist may recommend fluoride treatment, lozenges to encourage saliva production, antimicrobial agents, and more frequent checkups to ensure you don’t develop tooth decay or gum disease.
The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to dentistry, feel free to contact Dente Complete Dentistry, with a convenient dental office in Wicker Park by calling 773.295.0562 or by clicking here.