Treatment for Dry Mouth Symptoms
Are you feeling thirsty all the times? Then it is a symptom of dry mouth. There are several negative repercussions of having a dry mouth, instead of simply being uncomfortable. However, what is causing it, and should you be concerned about it? If you experience dry mouth occasionally, then it is not a big deal. In case your dry mouth problem is consistent, you are wise to check out the cause. Because there are various things that can result in dry mouth, such as common oral problems, mouth breathing and other serious illnesses.
Dry mouth, generally known as xerostomia is a condition caused by a reduced amount of saliva flow in the mouth where salivary glands will not function adequately. Sufficient saliva helps to prevent tooth decay by restricting bacterial growth and also cleaning away food debris. Saliva also increases one’s ability to taste and makes it easier to swallow and digestive enzymes in saliva helps to digest the food. Severe dry mouth and salivary gland dysfunction may develop serious mouth and throat diseases that can damage an individual’s quality of life. If dry mouth is left untreated, you will experience significant tooth decay and other unpleasant gum disease.
What causes dry mouth?
There are various causes of dry mouth such as:
- Certain medications such as blood pressure medications like antidepressants, antihistamines, diuretics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and many others
- Radiation treatments especially to the neck and head
- Hormonal discrepancy
- Salivary ducts obstruction
- Salivary gland disorders
- Autoimmune diseases like Jorgen’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus
- Smoking and chronic drinking may cause dryer mouth or even make the condition worse
- Other causative factors such as anxiety, stress, depressive disorder and also dehydration
What are the symptoms of dry mouth?
Dry mouth sufferers usually don’t notice that they are suffering from dry mouth until their saliva flow is dropped by 50%. Symptoms of dry mouth are:
- A sticky and dry feeling in the mouth
- Speech and eating difficulties
- Halitosis or bad smell
- Long-term sore throat
- Burning feeling in the mouth
- Cracked lips
- Dry nasal airways
- Difficulty with swallowing
- Mouth ulcers
- Dry and inflamed tongue
- Impaired tasting ability
- Frequent thirst
- Increased plaque, tooth decay, periodontal disease and infection in the mouth
How to treat the condition?
The very first thing is visiting your dentist to figure out what is causing your dry mouth. Early treatment of dry mouth is important to prevent the devastating side effects of the condition. Treat the dry mouth with medication and minor changes in drinking and eating.
- Saliva flow can be increased by several simple methods, which include sipping more water and chewing sugar-free candies. Alternatively, try sucking on a piece of hard and uncooked pasta.
- Add moisture to the air at night with a room humidifier to keep your mouth moist all night long.
- Drink herbal teas such as green tea, chamomile and ginger that help to stimulate saliva flow in the mouth.
- Breathe through your nose, not your mouth.
- Add red pepper flakes to your food to stimulate saliva.
- There are also over-the-counter mouthwashes and moisturizing gels, which are specifically designed for those who have this problem. Ask your dentist for suggestions.
- Chew sugar-free hard candies, ice chips, or sugar-free popsicles. Chew sugarless gum (gums containing xylitol). These chewing as well as sucking actions helps to increase saliva flow.
- Avoid certain foods and beverages that will cause dry mouth such as caffeinated beverages, some mouthwashes, alcohol, salty products, spicy foods and acidic juices such as grapefruits, tomatoes and oranges.
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