What is Dry Mouth?
Have you ever experienced a hard time in swallowing? Or burning sensation in your mouth? Well, these are just a few signs of experiencing dry mouth.
Dry mouth, medically termed as Xerostomia, is the absence or having low amount of saliva in the mouth.
Symptoms of Dry Mouth
If you get to experience the following symptoms, you might be having dry mouth.
- Sticky, and dry feeling of the mouth
- Frequent thirst
- Cracked lips with or without sores
- Sores and burning sensation at the corner fold of the lips
- Burning sensation, especially at the tongue area
- Difficulty in swallowing
Causes of Dry Mouth
If you get to experience the following symptoms, the following might be the one causing it.
- Side effects of medications
Certain medications can cause the mouth to dry such as anti-depression drugs, anti-anxiety drugs, anti-histamines, diuretics, hypertensive drugs, muscle relaxants, sedatives, and other drugs used to treat diarrhea, acne, obesity, epilepsy, and asthma.
- Side effects of a disease or health condition
Dry mouth can be a side effect of medical conditions such as Sjorgen’s syndrome, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, anema, hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, and mumps.
- Side effect of a medical treatment
During certain medical treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiotheraphy can cause damage to the salivary glands, the gland that produces saliva.
Certain conditions may cause dehydration, such as fever, excessive sweating, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Smoking can greatly affect saliva production causing dry mouth. Mouth-breathers tend to also experience dry mouth due to keeping their mouth open most of the time.
Problems associated with Dry Mouth
Saliva has antibacterial components as well as it helps flushing away bacteria and plaque accumulation in the teeth. Absence of saliva will make the progress of tooth decay faster as well as gum disease and other mouth infections.
Management of Dry Mouth
If you are experiencing dry mouth when you started taking a certain drug, you might want to discuss it with your physician to have certain adjustments with the dosage.
There is also available saliva-stimulating tablets, gums, and over-the-counter artificial saliva substitute available. You may discuss this further with your dentist.
Also, there are ways to improve saliva production such as drinking plenty of water, use a room vaporizer to add moisture to the bedroom air, and breathing through your nose rather than your mouth.