Dry mouth (xerostomia) is a condition that can affect people of all ages, including children. It occurs when there is not enough saliva in the mouth, which can lead to a number of uncomfortable symptoms. In fact, it can even lead to dental decay on your child’s baby teeth! That’s why it is important to treat pediatric dry mouth with a trusted children’s dentist as soon as possible.
Do you suspect that your child is experiencing symptoms of dry mouth? Help them get the relief they deserve with Dr. Matt at Smiles Dentistry for Kids in Overland Park, KS. Our team can help you pinpoint the cause and provide valuable advice and treatments to address the condition. Contact our children’s dental clinic today at (913) 685-9990 to get started.
In this blog, we explore why children get dry mouth. We also discuss treatment options to help your child get lasting relief.
Why do children get dry mouth?
Xerostomia can make eating and speaking much more challenging for little ones. You may notice that their saliva appears frothy or stringy while they talk. Additionally, you may notice that the odor of their breath is getting worse or that their voice sounds differently when their mouth is dry.
If you notice any of these symptoms, then several factors may be to blame, such as:
Some medications can cause xerostomia as a side effect. Children who take certain types of medication for conditions such as allergies, asthma, or ADHD may be more likely to experience dry mouth.
Here is a complete list of medications that are likely to give your child dry mouth.
Medical conditions often affect other parts of our body, even if they do not seem related. Dry mouth is a great example of this, as many systemic health conditions can limit saliva production.
Common medical conditions that have a drying effect on the mouth include:
- Sjӧgren’s syndrome
- Type 1 and type 2 diabetes
- Cystic fibrosis
Children often breathe through their mouths instead of their noses, especially if they have allergies or a stuffy nose. This can decrease the amount of saliva in the mouth, making it feel dry and tacky.
Children who are not drinking enough fluids may develop xerostomia as a result. This can happen if they are sick with a fever or vomiting, or if they are not drinking enough water during the day.
How do you treat dry mouth in children?
The treatment for dry mouth in children depends on the underlying cause. Here are some general tips that can help:
- Encourage your child to drink plenty of water throughout the day
- Avoid giving your child sugary or acidic drinks
- Use a humidifier in their room while sleeping
- Encourage nose breathing over mouth breathing
- Offer saliva-producing treats, like sugar-free gum, cough drops, and candy
- Consider over-the-counter mouth moisteners or artificial saliva
- Speak to your child’s pediatrician about medications or conditions that may be causing xerostomia
Pediatric Dry Mouth Treatment in Overland Park, KS
Untreated xerostomia is problematic, as it can lead to extensive cavities and gum disease. The team at Smiles Dentistry for Kids can help you diagnose the cause and explore effective treatments. Schedule appointments for your kiddos here, or call Dr. Matt at (913) 685-9990.