Wednesday , 17 January 2018
whats dry mouth

Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)

What Is Dry Mouth?

Dry mouth is often due to the side effect of certain medications or aging issues or as a result of radiation therapy for cancer. Less often, dry mouth may be caused by a condition that directly affects the salivary glands.

Decreased saliva and dry mouth can range from being merely a nuisance to something that has a major impact on your general health and the health of your teeth and gums, as well as your appetite and enjoyment of food.

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Symptoms

If you’re not producing enough saliva, you may notice these signs and symptoms all or most of the time:

  • Dryness or a feeling of stickiness in your mouth
  • Saliva that seems thick and stringy
  • Bad breath
  • Difficulty chewing, speaking and swallowing
  • Dry or sore throat and hoarseness
  • Dry or grooved tongue
  • A changed sense of taste
  • Problems wearing dentures

Causes

Dry mouth is caused when the salivary glands in the mouth don’t make enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. These glands may not work properly as the result of:

  • Medications
  • Aging
  • Cancer therapy
  • Nerve damage
  • Other health conditions
  • Tobacco and alcohol use
  • Recreational drug use

Complications

If you don’t have enough saliva and develop dry mouth, this can lead to:

  • Increased plaque, tooth decay and gum disease
  • Mouth sores
  • Yeast infection in your mouth (thrush)
  • Sores or split skin at the corners of your mouth, or cracked lips
  • Poor nutrition from having problems with chewing and swallowing

Lifestyle and home remedies

In addition to the advice from your doctor, these tips may help relieve your dry mouth symptoms:

  • Sip water or sugar-free drinks or suck ice chips throughout the day to moisten your mouth, and drink water during meals to aid chewing and swallowing.
  • Chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free hard candies.
  • Try over-the-counter saliva substitutes
  • Breathe through your nose
  • Moisturize your lips to soothe dry or cracked areas.

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