Facts You Should Know About Dry Mouth
Dry mouth, also called as xerostomia, is a condition that is characterised by chapped lips, difficulty in swallowing food, feeling of dryness or burning sensation in the mouth.
Listed below are few important causes of dry mouth-
- Dehydration – Low water intake can dehydrate your body and cause dryness in mouth. Hence, try to keep yourself hydrated by wetting your mouth or drinking plenty of water.
- Tobacco consumption – Tobacco, in any form, when consumed frequently can result in reduced salivary flow. Due to the dip in salivary flow there is a hike in the tendency to develop dental cavities.
- Alcohol –Alcohol can cause tissue irritation. Alcohol-containing mouthwashes are not recommended in individuals with dry mouth.
- Changes in Hormone levels- Women experience dryness of mouth more after menopause. This is an effect induced by a dip in estrogen levels.
- Aging- As one ages, the salivary flow lowers gradually in some individuals leading to xerostomia.
- Medications- some medicines like antihistamines or cancer-curing drugs can also cause oral dryness inhibiting the production of saliva and thereby reducing the quantity of saliva.
- Mouth Breathers- Those who breathe from mouth either due to medical conditions like asthma or due to anatomical problems like nasal defects experience xerostomia.
- Medical problems- Dry mouth is a common symptom in diseases like diabetes, salivary gland related problems and AIDS.
Why is dry mouth bad?
The saliva is vital for our mouth as it keeps our oral tissues hydrated. The salivary antibodies fight against the decay-causing bacteria and protect our teeth from dental decay. Another important function of saliva is the elimination of food debris left inside the mouth. Saliva aids in digestion as well as helps the food in the preliminary stage of digestion in the mouth during the process of mastication.
Reduction in salivary flow or quantity and thickening of saliva leads to dryness and discomfort. Our teeth are at a higher risk to develop cavities as the flushing action of saliva is minimal. Xerostomia can result in altered taste sensations as well. Hence, dry mouth should never be taken lightly and should be brought to the notice of your dentist.
What is the remedy for dry mouth?
The underlying cause needs to be addressed first as treating the symptoms helps only temporarily. Increase in water consumption, maintaining oral hygiene, avoiding alcohol or alcohol containing products and use of artificial saliva (available in medical stores) can be of great help in getting rid of dry mouth.
If you are experiencing any symptoms of dry mouth or would like to know more about it , book a consultation at Wyndham dental today.