Dry mouth also known as xerostomia is the inability of the salivary glands in the mouth to produce adequate amount of saliva (which is needed to moisten and cleanse the mouth and help digest food) to keep the mouth wet. This could be cause by dehydration and sometimes anxiety. Some drugs and medication as well as aging can also result in dryness of the mouth.
Dry mouth symptom
- Sticky or gummy feeling in the mouth.
- Dry lips.
- Dry or sore throat.
- Thick and stringy saliva.
- Difficulty in swallowing.
- Bad breath.
- Difficult in speaking.
- Frequent thirst.
Causes of dry mouth
- Mouth breathing: dry mouth may be experienced if you sleep with your mouth open. This occurs because of; habit, clogged nasal passages or other health conditions.
- Dehydration: not drinking enough water, sweating a lot or being ill can cause mouth dryness.
- Medications: many prescription and nonprescription drugs, including drugs to treat high blood pressure and anxiety, depression, hypertension, decongestants, pain medication and muscle relaxants are a significant cause of dry mouth.
- Aging: older adults experience dry mouth not because of aging but because they tend to take more medication, many of which cause dry mouth. Conditions such as diabetes, parkinson’s disease, and alzheimer’s disease can also cause dry mouth.
- Cancer treatment: the nature of saliva and the amount produced can be temporary affected by chemotherapy drugs. Normal salivary flow returns after treatment. Permanent damaged to the salivary glands can be caused by radiation to the neck and head, causing long-term dry mouth.
- Alcohol and tobacco intake: the smoking or chewing of tobacco can affect the flow rate of saliva in the mouth. Alcohol being acidic can cause dehydration. The intake of alcohol and tobacco increases dry mouth symptoms.
- Recreational drug use: the flow rate of saliva in the mouth is affected by recreational drugs, including heroin, ecstasy, methamphetamine and marijuana. The use of these drugs causes dry mouth.
- Nerve damage: nerve damage to the head or neck from an injury or surgery can cause dry mouth.
Dry mouth often causes
- Tooth decay.
- Gum disease.
- Sore mouth.
- Cracked or broken lips and skin at the corners of the mouth.
- Yeast infection.
- Poor nutrition because of difficulty chewing and swallowing.
- Avoid certain medications: avoid the use of drugs known to cause dry mouth. Consult a doctor to prescribe a different drug which doesn’t have such effect.
- Reduce or stop in use of alcohol and tobacco.
- Staying hydrated by drinking water and sugarless dinks.
- Dental products: dental product which contain high fluoride or calcium helps remedy dry mouth. They help prevent tooth decay.
- Use alcohol-free mouthwash.
- Artificial saliva substitutes can be used with the direction of a dentist.
- Avoid breathing through the mouth.
- Sucking on sugarless candies and chewing sugarless gum can provide short-term relief from dry mouth.
Dry mouth isn’t a disease, it is caused by sleeping habits, medications, or other conditions. If you are worried or concerned, visit the dentist five dock. A treatment plan that best suits your medical needs will be recommended.