Do You Treat Dry Mouth in Children?
Dry mouth is a condition that typically affects adults, especially the elderly. However, even children can develop this condition. Dry mouth can jeopardize your child’s oral health, nutrition, and development, and may, at times, require intervention from your trusted team at Jet Set Smiles Pediatric Dentistry. We are all about keeping your child’s smile healthy and sound.
Symptoms of Dry Mouth
Dry mouth, also called xerostomia, is characterized by low saliva production. If left untreated, dry mouth can cause a host of dental problems. The most apparent symptom of dry mouth is constant thirst. Symptoms also include painful skin chaps and cracks along the mouth and dry and irritated gums. Saliva prevents acids and bacteria from destroying tooth enamel, so when there is not enough of it, your child may experience increased tooth decay, plaque deposits, and gum disease. You may also notice problems with eating, drinking, swallowing, and talking.
Most of the above symptoms can occur from time to time, and should not be cause for alarm. However, if the symptoms persist, contact Jet Set Smiles Pediatric Dentistry for evaluation.
Common Causes Of Dry Mouth
Dry mouth may be as simple as the result of dehydration or from a long night’s sleep, which can be resolved by drinking some water. In some cases, it can result from normal growth and development. Children may experience temporary bouts of dry mouth but tend to grow out of it quickly.
Dry mouth is often a side effect of medications your child takes. It can also be caused by radiation therapy, or from medical conditions such as an autoimmune disorder known as Sjögren’s syndrome, which can attack the salivary glands, leading to dry mouth.
Treating Dry Mouth in Children
Whether temporary or long-term, some practices and treatments help alleviate the symptoms of dry mouth in children. The most important thing you can do is to ensure your child stays hydrated by drinking more water. The more hydrated one is, the easier it is to create saliva. Better yet, water helps moisten the mouth, which eases discomfort and makes it easier to eat, drink, and talk. If your child has trouble swallowing, using a straw can help ensure adequate fluid intake.
Chewing sugar-free gum or sucking on sugar-free hard candies encourage saliva production, providing relief from dry mouth. Avoid sugary drinks, sodas, or caffeine, which all dry out your child’s mouth further. Moreover, sodas, even diet ones, contain high levels of acid, which can damage your child’s already dry and vulnerable teeth. Make sure your child maintains good oral hygiene practices. Brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash helps remove harmful bacteria and debris left sitting due to the lack of saliva.
Professional Dry Mouth Care
One of the most effective ways to find the right dry mouth treatments is to schedule a visit at Jet Set Smiles Pediatric Dentistry in Phoenix, AZ. We will determine the underlying causes of your child’s condition and will recommend treatment options to help relieve the symptoms of dry mouth. By addressing symptoms right away, you’ll be giving your child the best chance to prevent long-term oral health complications. If your kid’s dry mouth has been a persistent issue, make sure to contact us immediately.