What would a family dentist do about dry mouth for children?
Posted by Hillsdale Dental Care on Nov 23 2015, 10:19 PM
Before dry mouth is treated, your family dentist will help determine the cause of dry mouth. An oral exam, tests, review of your child’s medical and prescription history, and possibly a referral to a specialist may be required.
What Are the Causes of Dry Mouth?
Some of the common causes are:
- Trauma to the head or neck that damages salivary glands
- Radiation therapy in the areas of the head and neck
- Auto-immune diseases, including Sjogren’s syndrome or HIV/AIDS
- There are hundreds of prescription medications that cause dry mouth—particularly those used treat anxiety, depression, and nerve pain. Some antihistamines and decongestants can also cause dry mouth.
- Medical conditions, including diabetes may be the cause. Stroke or Alzheimer’s disease can give the perception of dry mouth, even when salivary glands are functioning normally.
- Sinus and allergy issues, along with snoring or breathing with your mouth open can make the mouth dry.
Your child may not be able to explain that his or her mouth is dry. Some symptoms are listed below.
- Frequent coughing or gagging
- Unusual thirst
- Bad breath
- Excessive cavities
- Difficulty swallowing
- A burning sensation in the mouth
Treatment for Dry Mouth
Your family doctor or dentist may prescribe alcohol-free mouthwash or saliva-producing medication, but there are some things that can be done at home to help.
- Ensure that your child drinks plenty of water.
- Avoid foods that are dry, coarse, salty, spicy, or acidic.
- When possible, have your child eat more foods that are room temperature or cold.
- Cut food into smaller pieces to reduce the chances of gagging or choking while eating.
- Avoid giving him or her mouthwash that contains alcohol.
- Try sugar-free gum or candy to increase saliva production.
In some cases, dry mouth can affect the way food tastes. If your child’s appetite decreases, try cooking or selecting foods that are more savory, but not too spicy. Add gravy or sauce to the food to make it more appealing. Also ask your family dentist for suggestions.
This post is sponsored by San Jose dentists Dr. Ralph Stanley, Dr. Magdalena Azzarelli, and Dr. Rogé Jacob of Hillsdale Dental Care.