Dry Mouth: Causes, Side Effects, and Treatment
Dry mouth or xerostomia is a condition in which salivary glands in the mouth fail to make adequate saliva to keep the mouth wet. We all tend to experience dry mouth at some point in our lives. It typically happens when we are dehydrated or nervous. However, if the mouth remains persistently dry, chances are that there is an underlying medical condition. Xerostomia, if left untreated, can make it difficult to eat, talk, and even digest food.
Saliva plays an essential role in maintaining good oral health. And inadequate saliva production can lead to a dry mouth. When this happens, it can result in several problems like halitosis, dry lips, mouth infections, and mouth soreness. A dry mouth can also cause tooth decay and gum diseases.
What Are Some of the Common Causes Behind A Dry Mouth?
A dry mouth occurs when salivary glands inside the mouth cannot produce an adequate amount of saliva. The function of salivary glands slows down when the body gets dehydrated or does not get sufficient water required to produce saliva. Salivary glands tend to slow down when an individual is nervous or anxious.
Health Conditions and Drug Reactions
Dry mouth or xerostomia can be caused by either different medical conditions or the use of certain drugs like diuretics and antidepressants. If you are on any medication of this kind, try finding out the side effects and discussing those with your doctor before starting the medication.
Radiotherapy can result in inflammation of the salivary glands or mucositis. This can lead to a dry mouth.
Many individuals breathe through their mouths when their noses are blocked. Continuing this can make the mouth dry.
There may be other reasons as well. For instance, a medicine may be causing it. In that case, your doctor may suggest alternatives or reduce the dosage.
If you have been experiencing dry mouth for some time now, do not think twice before consulting a physician. Discuss all the symptoms with her/him. This will help identify the underlying causes and providing the best possible solution.
Treatment for Dry Mouth
Treatment for dry mouth depends on what has caused the condition. Typically, the treatment for dry mouth focuses on:
- Managing underlying conditions that make the mouth dry
- Preventing tooth decay
- Increasing the flow of saliva, if that’s possible
Things to Do for Relieving Dry Mouth
If you suffer from dry mouth, here are some of the tips that can deal with a dry mouth:
- Keep yourself hydrated as this will cause saliva glands to increase saliva production
- Avoid smoking and consuming drinks that have caffeine or alcohol
- Try to use saliva substitutes or stimulants
- Consume moist and soft food kept at room temperature
- Avoid foods that are salty, dry, or have a high sugar content
- Avoid using mouth rinses or mouthwashes that contain alcohol or peroxide. These ingredients make the mouth drier
If you have had issues relating to dry mouth for a while now, stop delaying any further. Consult a specialist who can provide a permanent solution.
There you have it! Contact Paul Mansky Dental today! We are located in Troy, Michigan and can be reached at (248) 689-5508 and we hope to hear from you soon!