Dental Problems

Dry mouth

What is Dry mouth?

Saliva is a clear liquid secreted in our mouth by the salivary and mucus glands. It moistens and cleanses our mouth and helps in the digestion of food. It also prevents various kinds of bacterial and fungal infection in our mouth.

Have you ever faced a problem like dryness in your mouth? Have you ever had an uncomfortable feeling in your mouth? Well, the reason for this is, your salivary glands are not secreting enough saliva in your mouth, resulting in a condition known as Dry mouth.

Causes for Dry mouth:

Dry mouth is caused due to several reasons some of which are as below:

Side effects caused due to medications:

Dry mouth is generally a side effect caused by using certain medications. Eg: medication for treatment of depression, anxiety, pain, etc. It is also a side effect of sedatives. and muscle relaxants.

Side effect of certain diseases, infections and treatments:

Dry mouth can at times be a side effect of certain medical conditions which include HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s, Stroke, Mumps, etc.
It is also a side effect of certain medical treatments like chemotherapy, radiations etc where the salivary glands can get damaged

Dehydration:

few cases which lead to dehydration like fever, vomiting, blood loss etc also lead to Dry mouth.

Lifestyle:

Chewing tobacco, smoking are some factors that lead to Dry mouth. These factors affect the salivary production. Continuous breathing with your mouth is also a reason for the same.

Symptoms for Dry mouth:

Few common symptoms for a Dry mouth are:

  • Frequent thirst
  • Difficulty in tasting, problem in speaking, chewing and swallowing.
  • A dry red raw tongue.
  • Dryness in the throat.
  • Sticky and dry feeling in the mouth.

Treatment for Dry mouth:

Here are few tips you can use to improve the saliva flow in your mouth:

    • Plenty of water should be consumed to keep your mouth moist.
    • Chewing sugar-free gum or sucking on sugar-free candy does help at times
    • Avoid breathing through your mouth as this is one of the causes for Dry mouth

In addition to the above tips, you could consult your doctor regarding the medications you are using. He would probably adjust the dose or prescribe you a different medicine.

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