Conditions of the mouth

Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)

Dry mouth is a very common and uncomfortable condition of the mouth, particularly prevalent in older patients. Saliva is necessary for speech, protection of the teeth and soft tissues, comfort of dentures and taste of food. Xerostomia can be as a result of numerous factors including medications, dehydration, radiation, chemotherapy and several diseases of the salivary glands. Sometimes xerostomia is reversible if the cause of the problem can be addressed. In cases where it is not possible to address the source of the problem, products can be used to improve the comfort of the mouth. Ask your Westfund dentist if they can help with your dry mouth.

Mouth Ulcers

Mouth ulcers are a common condition of the mouth. They result in sore areas on the soft tissues in the mouth and can take weeks to heal. There are a number of causes of ulcers including trauma, dietary deficiencies, cancer, infections, allergies and general medical illnesses such as Crohn’s disease. It is important to photograph and document your ulcers and discuss it with your Westfund dentist.

Oral Cancer

Your Westfund dentist will routinely screen your mouth at every check-up for signs of oral cancer, but it is important that you know what to look out for too. If you notice any of the following symptoms make sure you get it checked by your Westfund dentist.

  • Ulcers that have been present for longer than two weeks and are not starting to heal.
  • Extraction sockets which are not healing.
  • Speech changes.
  • Altered feeling or numbness.
  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • White, red or brown patches or marks on the gum, tongue, palate or inside of your cheeks.
  • Lip swellings or sores that are not healing.
  • Unexplained bleeding in the mouth.
  • Constant pain on the soft tissues of the mouth.

Australian Dental Association Fact Sheet