What is a Dry Mouth

A condition in which the salivary glands are not producing enough saliva to keep the mouth moist and wet is known as Xerostomia. Xerostomia can occur as s result of various reasons such as taking some medications, radiation therapy for cancer, and sometimes as s result of diseases condition affecting the salivary glands ( e.g parotitis) or systemic diseases.

Saiva is often one of the most essential parts of our digestion process due to the presence of some digestive enzymes that are constituted in the saliva, which is called salivary amylase, ptyalin is one of the digestive enzymes that is found in saliva which is responsible for the breaking down of carbohydrates since from the mouth to your stomach.                

Possible Causes Of Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)

Many factors can cause dry mouth. Moreover having a dry mouth alone doesn’t mean that you have an underlying disease condition. Below are the possible causes of Dry Mouth.

  1. 1. Dehydration. Dehydration may cause Xerostomia when the body loose fluid concentration without replacement due to excessive vomiting, diarrhea, and sweating bleeding. Your body may be dehydrated and it can not able to produce enough saliva.
  2. Medications. Xerostomia can result from some medication’s side effects, especially those used for depression, anxiety, vomiting, diarrhea, high blood pressure, and asthma. Antihistamine, Antidiuretics, and some chemotherapy medications can reduce salivary secretions in the mouth with cause dry mouth.
  3. Radiation therapy. Xerostomia can be a result of radiation therapy. Radiation around the head and neck may damage salivary glands these are by causing a lack of salivary secretions, which if not controlled can proceed to generate Xerostomia.
  4. Stress: When you’re stressed your body produces more cortisol, the “stress hormone.” Cortisol level increase in your saliva can change the composition of your saliva, resulting in mouth dryness.
  5. Aging. As you get older, it is common to experience dry mouth. This may be due to health issues, certain medications, and some changes to how well your body reacts.

Signs and Symptoms Of Dry Mouth

  1. Bad breath (halitosis)
  2. Dry tongue
  3. Sore throat
  4. Oral thrush
  5. Difficulty in swallowing, speaking, chewing
  6. Trouble testing food or drink
  7. Burning sensation in the mouth
  8. Cracked lip
  9. Dry tongue
  10. Oral candidiasis                  

Diagnosis Of Dry Mouth

During the oral examination, your dentist may notice the presence of dry mouth and your dentist can also inquire you some of your previous medical histories in order to confirm the presence of Xerostomia.          

Treatments and Management Of Dry Mouth

The treatment of Xerostomia depends on the factor that caused it. Here are some of the general management of Xerostomia listed below ;

  • Drinking enough water. Some studies show that regular water intake help in the hydration of the body thereby increasing salvation in the mouth
  • Avoid some medications. Most dry mouth is caused by certain medications such as Antidiuretics, antihistamines, antihypertensives, bronchodilators, etc. If you notice any drugs that are reducing your salivary secretions, inform your health care provider of another alternative.
  • Avoid smoking, Alcohol, and caffeine which also contribute to dry mouth
  • Sucking sugarless candy. Suck of sugarless candy such as lozenges, and cough drops may provide short-term relief to hyposalivation.
  • Chew sugarless gum. Chewing sugarless gum can also provide short time relief of hyposalivation, which can easily stimulate salivary flow in the oral environment.                                 

Effects Of Dry Mouth

  • Mouth odor ( Halitosis)
  • Oral candidiasis
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Difficulty in speaking
  • Sore throat
  • Lack of teste
  • Burning sensation in the mouth

Facts About Dry Mouth

Xerostomia is a dental condition that mostly affects people’s physical and social activities that can be easily treated by specialist dental personnel in a hospital without any hardship. All these are the reasons why it’s important to visit your dentist every six months even without any noticeable oral diseases.