Dry mouth or ‘Xerostomia’ can be frustrating, but it is very common. It’s not contagious and there are ways to avoid the symptoms of dry mouth through various lifestyle choices like drinking more water or chewing sugarless gum. Read on and learn why your child has dry mouth or Xerostomia and what they can do to avoid it.
What is Dry Mouth Anyway?
Dry Mouth Syndrome (DMS) is a mouth condition that can make it difficult to speak, eat and digest food. DMS also produces significant anxiety in the sufferer because they are constantly worried about how their dryness will impact them.
Xerostomia causes thickening of saliva and decreased salivary flow which leads to bacteria build up on teeth surfaces as well as tongue coatings with plaque or other debris production from oral mucosal cells within hours after tooth brushing when compared with healthy controls without symptoms.
It affects children more often than adults but usually lasts only for one week at most before going away completely if left untreated.
Dry Mouth in a Child
Dry mouth is a condition that affects children more frequently than adults. However, it can still happen to young people with some common causes being excess fluid loss or breathing through their mouths during bouts of diarrhea and stomach bugs in the summertime.
Medications prescribed for mood disorders as well as childhood cancer also cause dryness among kids because they have been proven to affect saliva production by affecting signals sent from nerves on one’s tongue back up into the brainstem area where salivation occurs.
“When you’re not producing enough saliva your lips may get dried out,” says Dr. Cheryl Schwarzmann-Batteiger who works at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus Ohio. “This will eventually lead to cracking around the lips.”
The best way to reduce the symptoms of dry mouth in children is by using home remedies and treatments. You can do this effectively with these steps:
- Get your kids plenty of fluids, especially water
- Increase their sugar intake for better saliva production try sweet fruits like oranges or bananas that are easy on a sore throat too.
- Serve them as juice mixed drinks without any ice so they don’t get dehydrated even more
Avoid Sugary Drinks, Soda, and Caffeinated drinks. Sugar is found in sodas as well as many other foods. It dries out your mouth. And caffeine can also have negative effects on oral health too when consumed in excess.
This is because it causes dryness of the mucous membranes that line our mouths. Which makes them even more prone to bacterial overgrowth from sugars or acidic bacteria-produced acids.
Like plaque acid (which we need for tooth enamel protection.) The best thing you could do to protect your child’s teeth would be avoiding all these things altogether so he/she doesn’t get cavities early.
It’s all About Hygiene
A good rule of thumb is to brush your teeth twice a day, drink plenty of water and maintain healthy eating habits. These are all important steps in maintaining excellent oral hygiene. If you’re worried about dry mouth symptoms like difficulty swallowing or getting enough saliva flow.
Look for toothpaste with ingredients that will moisturize the tissues lining your mouth while also providing relief from SLS irritation (a common ingredient found in many brands). Your dentist can give you more information on this topic if it’s something you want to explore further.
Keep your child’s food at a temperature that is not piping hot, and incorporate bland foods such as peanut butter sandwiches to keep the acid down. For juice, consider using apple or peach instead of orange so you can avoid any citrus fruit juices which will only aggravate their stomach more.
Sugarless gum is one of the best ways to help prevent dry mouth. It encourages your body to produce saliva on its own, which can be helpful for preventing bad breath and oral hygiene problems like cavities. Pop a piece into their mouths from time to time so they don’t become dehydrated.
Keep up-to-date on Visits
One of the most effective ways to find the right dry mouth remedies is by visiting your pediatric dentist. They can not only recommend treatment options that will help alleviate symptoms, but they’ll also be able to start understanding why you’re experiencing this issue at all. And what you need to do about it. If your child’s had a persistent ailment for a while now, go in today.
Are you ready to experience the top-quality dentist office difference? Contact Dr. Engel at Kinder Smiles today with any questions on dry mouth issues or to make an appointment for your child or teen. Our new dentist and orthodontic specialists are eager to make your appointments great and we can arrange a treatment plan to suit you.
Dr Engel holds a speciality license in pediatric dentistry from New Jersey and New York. He also has attained sedation certification, which allows for in-office oral sedation options, and he’s on staff at Hackensack University Medical Center. As an attending pediatric dentist at HUMC, Dr Engel retains operating room privileges, allowing for an array of treatment modalities and anaesthesia options.