Dry Mouth: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment
We all have a dry mouth on occasion. In clinical terms, dry mouth occurs when the salivary glands produce insufficient saliva to keep the mouth moist. Although dry mouth is frequently a side effect of some medications, it can also be caused by other factors.
Saliva is necessary for various reasons: it assists digestion by breaking down the food you consume and promotes oral health by lowering your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. As a result, failing to produce enough of it over time might have significant repercussions.
While dry mouth is not a dangerous disease in and of itself, it can occasionally signal the presence of an underlying problem that should be addressed. If you do not control your dry mouth, you risk developing dental and oral health problems.
Symptoms of Dry Mouth
If you don’t produce enough saliva, you may experience the following symptoms and signs all or most of the time:
- Dryness in your mouth
- Bad breath
- Saliva that appears thick
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing and speaking
- An altered taste
- Increased dental caries
- Issues wearing dentures
- Gum irritation and gum disease
Causes of dry mouth
Dehydration: This is self-evident that when you do not drink enough water, your mouth becomes dry.
Drugs: Certain meds, such as antihistamines, blood pressure treatments, cancer medications, and antidepressants, can cause dry mouth.
Age: This might be due to medicine, lousy diet, long-term health concerns, or simply because our bodies no longer function as effectively as they once did as we age.
Health Problems: Certain health problems, such as depression, diabetes, stroke, and Alzheimer’s, might raise the risk of dry mouth.
A dry mouth might occur if you smoke or consume alcohol.
Treatment for Dry Mouth
The cause of your dry mouth will determine your therapy. Your doctor or dentist may recommend the following:
- You are changing medicines that cause dry mouth. If your doctor believes medication is causing your dry mouth, they may modify your dosage or switch you to another drug that does not cause it.
- Recommend things to keep your mouth moisturized. These may include prescription or over-the-counter mouth rinses, synthetic saliva, or mouth moisturizers.
- If you have severe dry mouth, your doctor or dentist may: Use a saliva-stimulating drug. For example- your doctor may consider prescribing pilocarpine (Salagen) or cevimeline (Evoxac) to stimulate saliva production.
- Take care of your teeth. To prevent cavities, your dental professional may fit you with fluoride trays that you fill with fluoride and place over your teeth for a few minutes each night. Additionally, your dentist may recommend weekly usage of a chlorhexidine rinse to help prevent cavities.
While dry mouth is seldom dangerous, it can exacerbate tooth decay and gum disease. If you suffer from a dry mouth, it is recommended that you visit your dentist regularly. Your dentist will monitor your oral health and prevent illness.
Dry Mouth: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment – Oralmed. (2021, May 28). Oralmed. https://www.oralmed.com/dry-mouth/
Dr. Roger Henderson. (2015, December 23). Dry Mouth (Xerostomia). Patient.info. https://patient.info/doctor/dry-mouth-xerostomia