Understanding Dry Mouth

Understanding Dry Mouth

UnderstandingDryMouth

The medical term for dry mouth is xerostomia (“xero” – dry; “stomia” – mouth), something that many of us have experienced at some point in life. However, for some people it can be a chronic condition that is ideal for promoting tooth decay. It can also be a warning sign of a more serious health condition.

Dry mouth occurs when there is an insufficient flow of saliva, the fluid secreted by the salivary glands. Your major salivary glands are located in two places: inside the checks by the back top molars and in the floor of the mouth, with about six hundred tiny glands scattered throughout your mouth. And many people are surprised to learn that when they are functioning normally, saliva glands secret between two and four pints of saliva per day! While this may sound like a lot (and it is), saliva is key for buffering or neutralizing acids in the mouth. Without this powerful protection, tooth decay can increase quickly. This is especially true for older individuals who have exposed tooth root surfaces.

It is also important to note that there are times when mouth dryness is perfectly normal. For example, when you wake, you will probably have a slightly dry mouth because saliva flow slows at night. Another example is if you are dehydrated when it is simply a warning sign that you need to drink more fluids (especially water). Other causes for temporary dry mouth include stress as well as what you consume: coffee, alcohol, onions, and certain spices.

You can also have a dry mouth due to a side effect from an over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription medication. If it turns out that this is the cause in your case, you need to talk to the prescribing physician to see if there is something else you can take to avoid this side effect. If there are no substitutes, one tip you can try is to take several sips of water before taking the medication followed by a full glass of water, or chew gum containing xylitol, which moistens your mouth and decreases the risk of tooth decay.

Another cause of dry mouth is radiation treatment for cancer in the head and neck region. Yes, these treatments are crucial for fighting cancer; however, they can inflame, damage or destroy salivary glands. You can also have dry mouth from certain systemic (general body) or autoimmune (“auto” – self; “immune” – resistance system) diseases, diabetes, Parkinson's disease, cystic fibrosis and AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).

To learn more, continue reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dry Mouth.” Or, you can contact us today to ask your questions, discuss your circumstances or schedule an appointment.

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  • "Dr Steve Manson... Superb! Janese... Top notch manager

    Jan 14, 2016 5/5 stars"
    - Morison, Jacqueline
  • "best dentist in town, very modern.

    Dec 27, 2015 5/5 Stars"
    -Toure, Elhadji
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    Nov 5, 2015"
    - Hogan, Debra
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    Oct 22, 2015 5/5 Stars"
    - Scime, Rose
  • "There was time between appointments.. You don't feel that the doctor has no time for you. Dr Manson has time for your individual needs... What a great man!

    Aug 27, 2015 5/5 Stars"
    - Morison, Jacqueline
  • "The visit was with staff that was friendly and professional.
    June 27, 2015 5/5 Stars"
    - McEvoy, Joe
  • "Professional staff, make you feel comfortable as you can be in the dental chair. Any questions you have are always answered & explained to the fullest. Taken for your appt. on time.

    Jun 25, 2015 5/5 Stars"
    - Phelps, Ruth
  • "Dr Steve Manson exceeds the standards of excellence in dentistry. We need another ten more of Dr Steve around New York City.

    May 21, 2015 5/5 Stars"
    - Morison, Jacqueline
  • "The Staff is wonderful. Dr. Manson is the best Dentist I ever went to. Does excellent work, and NO PAIN... Hes mine forever. I tell everyone I know to only go to him...He is a professional in every way. 5 STARS ALL THE WAY!!!

    May 8, 2015 5/5 Stars"
    - scime, Rose
  • "I was treated by staff and colleagues very well.

    June 27, 2015 5/5 Stars"
    - Rywak, Tamara
  • "Always feel confident I am getting the best advice possible on any dental situation.

    Mar 24, 2015 4/5 Stars"
    - Phelps, Ruth
  • "You guys are awesome!!!
    Aug 5, 2014 5/5 Stars"
    - Antoian, Kerrianne
  • "Besides being a great dentist, Dr. Manson is kind and caring.

    Jul 2, 2014 5/5 Stars"
    - Immordino, Rosary
  • "Fantastic dentist; been going to him for 15 years. Very nice and professional receptionist/assistant. Dr. Manson is the best of all professionals: he is meticulous, extremely skilled and has a warm but focused manner. The best old school professionalism with state-of-the art dental care.

    Jun 20, 2014 5/5 stars"
    - DiLeo, Leslie
  • "the office is run in a very professional manner. No changes are really needed.

    Jun 17, 2014 5/5 Stars"
    - Daly, William
  • "As always Dr. Manson and his assistant Janice are excellent. I travel from eastern Long Island because they are excellent! I have been a patient for approximately 40 years.

    June 12, 2014 5/5 Stars"
    - Tavano, Claudia
  • "Fantastic office. Fantastic work.

    Jun 11, 2014 5/5 stars"
    - Rusin, Ruza
  • "Janice is excellent!!!!!!

    May 6, 2014 5/5 Stars"
    -Tavano, Lawrence
  • "ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL!

    Apr 24, 2014 5/5 stars"
    - Mushorn, William
  • "Janiece is a wonderful addition to Dr. Manson's practice. She is so helpful and wonderful with a calm demeanor. Perfect hire Dr. Steve!

    Apr 21, 2014 5/5 Stars"
    - Duffy, Robin
  • "No issues. Dr. Manson seemed very knowledgeable and I really appreciated his hands on approach.

    Apr 8, 2014 5/5 Stars"
    - Lodato, Anthony
  • "Dr. Manson was thorough, gentle and very understanding. Would absolutely recommend!"
    - Ikeguchi, Jennifer
  • "Don't change a thing...continue to do the excellent job and service I receive every three months.

    Mar 18, 2014 5/5 stars"
    - Morison, Jacqueline
  • "A fast thorough no nonsense cleaning procedure performed in a pleasant friendly manner.

    Mar 11, 2014 5/5 Stars"
    - Chu Mun, Donald
  • "No pain! Janice is great!

    1/19/2014"
    – K. Dicicco 5/5 Star
  • "PAINLESS....FOR ME....THAT SAYS IT ALL.!

    11/12/2013"
    - B. Mushorn 5/5 Stars
  • "Caring, efficient, meticulous, professional. What more do you want?

    11/6/2013"
    – D.Chu Mun 5/5 Star
  • "I have been going to Dr. Manson's office for 30 years. Starting with his Dad and then moving on to Dr. Steven Manson who is wonderful! I was someone who avoided dentists for many many years because i was fearful but if you do have that fear he will put you completely at ease. I know for a fact that had i not started when i did with him I would more than likely not have a tooth left in my head. I have very soft teeth with lots of decay from bad eating habits and he has fixed them all just perfectly. I do believe my fear came from having teeth pulled which didn't really have to be at a young age so just give him a try, just once, and your fears will be settled. You should also know I do not write reviews normally and that is how strongly i feel you will be happy with this choice. Good Luck and You're Welcome :)

    11/6/2013"
    – Anonymous 5/5 Star
  • "DR. Manson is highly skilled, caring and professional with an excellent staff that makes a trip to the dentist a pleasant experience. If you're looking for a great dentist in Long Island City- he's your man!

    10/13/2013"
    N. Ricci 5/5 Star
  • "Competent, caring, gentle, friendly. What more could you want?

    10/11/2013"
    – Immordino, R. 5/5 Sta
  • "I started going there with Dr. Roy Manson and when he retired I now see his son, Steven. They have been the most concerned about caring for you and not causing you any pain which other dentists did cause a great deal of pain in my youth. Very knowledgeable and always trying new and better methods of dentistry. I didn't have to wait long this time either which is a BIG plus.

    10/3/2013"
    - B. Trazino 5/5 Star
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    9/26/2013"
    – Costello, M. 5/5 Star
  • "Dr. Manson and his staff are extremely professional. I feel very confident at having my dental health in their care. Typically, my latest visit was a pleasant experience. My cleaning was performed successfully and efficiently.

    9/22/2013"
    – Daly, W. 5/5 Star
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    8/23/2013"
    – Cheffolway, L. 5/5 Star
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    8/23/2013"
    - R. Michele Marigliano 5/5 Star
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    8/21/2013"
    -– Anonymous 5/5 Stars
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    7/27/2013"
    –Tavano, C. 5/5 Stars
  • "Every time I leave Dr. Manson's office (and it's been well over ten years since I first saw him), I think "what a fantastic dentist." He is skilled and meticulous in his work and senstitive to the patient's comfort. He makes smart use of the latest dental technology, and he is old-fashioned in the best sense of that description: focusing on quality care for the patient.

    7/5/2013"
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    6/26/2013"
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    5/13/2013"
    – R. Tavano 5/5 Stars
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    5/6/2013"
    – R. Owsley 5/5 Stars
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    5/6/2013"
    – R. Cavaliere 5/5 Stars
  • "Dr. Manson is on my opinion the "Best Dentist" in New York. I have been a patient of Dr Manson fit over 25 years and would recommend him to everyone. As a Dentist he makes his patient feel at home and relaxed. Everyone in the office will make your visit as comfortable as you can be.

    5/1/2013"
    – R. Hidalgo 5/5 Stars