May 12, 2017
1 minute, 46 seconds read
Dry mouth is medically known as “Xerostomia” and is a condition that causes a lot of discomfort in people suffering from it. There are medical conditions in which dry mouth can present as one of the symptoms and sometimes it can be due to various other reasons.
Causes of dry mouth:
- Dry mouth is a common side effect of antidepressants, muscle relaxants and sedatives.
- It is also one of the symptoms of conditions like Sjögren's syndrome, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, anaemia, cystic fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, Parkinson's disease, stroke, and mumps.
- Medical treatments that damage the salivary glands can cause dry mouth too. These include chemotherapy, radiotherapy for cancer.
- Dry mouth can occur as a result of nerve damage to the head and neck area as a result of trauma or surgical procedure.
- Conditions that lead to dehydration, such as fever, excessive sweating, vomiting, diarrhoea, blood loss, and burns can lead to dry mouth.
- Congenital defect or surgical removal of the salivary glands.
- Unhealthy practices like smoking or chewing tobacco.
- Mouth breathing
Symptoms of dry mouth:
- Overall stickiness in the mouth.
- Dryness of the throat and tongue.
- Discomfort while chewing, swallowing, tasting or speaking
- A burning feeling in the mouth.
- Cracking of lips
- The appearance of blisters.
- Irritation in the gums
- Increased frequency of cavities.
- Bad breath
Temporary relief for dry mouth can be attained by following any of these tips:
To relieve your dry mouth:
- Chew sugar-free gum or hard candies to stimulate the flow of saliva.
- Cut back on the excessive coffee intake.
- Use only alcohol-free mouthwashes.
- Maintain your hydration levels.
- Use a saliva substitute based on an expert dentist/ENT’s prescription only.
- Practice nose-breathing, seek medical opinion if you are unable to that.
Routine practices to prevent dry mouth.
- Avoid acidic or sugary foods that can increase the risk of tooth decay.
- Use a fluoride toothpaste/ mouthwash prescribed by your dentist.
- Make a visit to your dentist at least twice a year.
- Drink lots of water.
The presence of saliva is crucial in maintaining proper oral hygiene. So, if any symptoms of dry mouth persist, consult Dr Megha Sharma immediately.