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dry mouth

Dry mouth (also known as xerostomia, pronounced zeer-o-STOE-meuh)

Dry mouth is a condition in which the salivary glands in your mouth are not producing enough saliva to keep your mouth moist. At Summerlin Dental Solutions, Dr. Cohan says that Dry mouth is frequently caused by a side effect of certain drugs, as a result of age, or as a result of radiation therapy for cancer treatment. Dry mouth can be caused by a disorder that directly affects the salivary glands, however this is a rare occurrence.

Saliva aids in the prevention of tooth decay by neutralizing acids generated by bacteria, reducing bacterial development, and washing away food particles from the mouth. Saliva also improves your ability to taste, as well as making it simpler to chew and swallow certain foods. In addition, saliva contains enzymes that help in your digestion.

In some cases, decreased salivation and dry mouth are only a little inconvenience, but in others, they can have a significant influence on overall health, the health of your teeth and gums, as well as your appetite and pleasure of food.

The treatment for dry mouth is dependent on the underlying reason.



The following indications and symptoms may be present all the time or most of the time if your saliva production is inadequate:

  • Saliva that is thick and stringy in appearance
  • Unpleasant odor
  • Difficulties with chewing, speaking and swallowing.
  • Hoarseness, dry or painful throat, or both
  • A tongue that is dry or grooved
  • A shift in one's sense of taste
  • Having difficulties with dentures


In addition, dry mouth can cause lipstick to adhere to the teeth, which is undesirable.


Q: When should you visit your Summerlin dental office?

A: Please schedule an appointment with your doctor if you've been experiencing recurrent dry mouth signs and symptoms. There could be so many other issues or correlated problems associated with your dry mouth such as decayed teeth that you are unable to see for yourself without the benefit of a dental exam.

Q: What are the Potential Causes?

A: When the salivary glands in the mouth do not produce enough saliva to keep your mouth moist, you will experience a dry mouth. It is possible that these glands will not function adequately as a result of:

Q: What medications cause dry mouth?

A: Hundreds of medicines, including many over-the-counter treatments, have been linked to dry mouth as a negative side effect. There are certain types of medications that are more likely to create difficulties than others. These include pharmaceuticals intended to treat depression, high blood pressure, and anxiety, as well as antihistamines, decongestants, muscle relaxants, and pain relievers.

Q: Does normal aging cause a dry mouth?


A: With age comes a dry mouth, which affects a large proportion of the population as we see so often at our Summerlin Dental office. In addition to the usage of specific drugs, changes in the body's capacity to metabolize medication, poor nutrition, and having long-term health problems are also contributing factors to this condition.

Q: What about Chemotherapy for cancer patients.

A: Chemotherapy medications have the potential to alter the composition and quantity of saliva produced. It is possible that this is a transient condition, with normal salivary flow returning when the therapy is done. Radiation treatments to the head and neck can cause salivary glands to become inflamed, resulting in a significant reduction in saliva production. Depending on the radiation dose and the region treated, this might be either temporary or permanent.

Q: Does Damage to the nerves cause a dry mouth?

A: You may have dry mouth as a result of an injury or surgery that causes nerve damage in your head and neck area.

Q: Do Any other medical problems cause a dry mouth?

A: Dry mouth can be caused by a variety of medical illnesses, including diabetes, stroke, yeast infection (thrush) in your mouth, Alzheimer's disease, and autoimmune disorders such as Sjogren's syndrome and HIV/AIDS. It can also be caused by some medications. Dry mouth can be exacerbated by snoring and breathing with your mouth open while sleeping.


Q: What about Tobacco and alcoholic beverage consumption?

A: The use of alcoholic beverages, as well as the smoking or chewing of tobacco, can exacerbate dry mouth symptoms.


Q: The use of illegal drugs for recreational purposes.

A: In addition to severe dry mouth and tooth destruction, methamphetamine usage can result in the development of a disease known as "meth mouth." Marijuana can also produce dry mouth as a side effect.

Potential Complications

If you don't have enough saliva, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Increased plaque, dental decay, and gum disease are all problems.
  • Sores in the mouth
  • You have a yeast infection in your mouth (thrush)
  • Sores or split skin around the corners of your mouth, as well as cracked lips
  • Nutritional deficiencies as a result of difficulties chewing and swallowing

Treatment in Las Vegas, Nevada

If you find yourself experiencing dry mouth, give us a call today at Summerlin Dental Solutions. Dr. Cohan will be able to examine you and find the proper solution for your dry mouth.



Dr. Marianne Cohan was voted The Best Dentist/ Dental Office and Best Cosmetic Dentist from The Las Vegas Review-Journal in 2020 and 2021. She received her Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1992.

dr. cohan

With an emphasis on cosmetic dentistry, complete makeovers, and implant dentistry, Dr. Cohan is committed to continuing education and feels that we never stop learning.  Dr. Cohan takes pride in using high-powered magnification to perform minimally invasive restorative dentistry. She uses all the latest technological advances including digital radiography, digital photography, computer simulations, and high-resolution pictures of your proposed treatment on 55-inch screens.  She also utilizes CBCT (cone beam) and laser technology.

Dr. Cohan is always available to her patients and is available for any dental emergency.


851 S Rampart Blvd #230, Las Vegas, NV 89145 | (702) 341-9160
851 S Rampart Blvd #230, Las Vegas, NV 89145 | (702) 341-9160