Dry Mouth or Xerostomia
Xerostomia also called Dry Mouth is the state of not having a sufficient amount of saliva, or spit, to keep the mouth wet. Dry mouth can take place rarely; you get a Dry Mouth when nervous or stressed can be an example. When Dry Mouth perseveres; it can create chewing, eating, swallowing, halitosis (bad breath), an increase in the number of dental cavities (saliva helps prevent tooth decay), infections in the mouth, such as thrush and even talking difficult.. An individual with xerostomia typically finds it harder to enjoy food Dry Mouth also amplifies the hazard for Tooth Decay for the reason that saliva assists to keep damaging germs that cause cavities and other oral infections in check. Casually, it is also acknowledged as pasties, cottonmouth, drooth, doughmouth or des.
Causes of Dry Mouth or Xerostomia
- Drug Related Xerostomia. Many prescription and OTC (over-the-counter) medications cause dry mouth. there are more than 440 drugs, which can cause Xerostomia, and some types of those drugs are analgesics, antihistamines, anti-hypertensives, antiemetics, anticonvulsants, anti-parkinson drugs, appetite suppressants, antispasmodics, diuretics, expectorants, decongestants, and muscle relaxants. These drugs are able to decrease, increase, or alter the function of salivary glands and composition of salivary fluid, possibly because they mimic the action of autonomic nervous system or by direct action on the cellular processes required for salivation.
- Salivary Gland Dysfunctions. Many diseases can lead to salivary gland dysfunction and then causes Xerostomia.
- Radiation Therapy. When Radiation Therapy is carried out to the neck and head region, as in cases of oral, throat, or dental cancers, patients experience intense Dry Mouth or Xerostomia because this treatment damages the salivary glands resulting in lack of saliva leading to severe dry mouth conditions and increased risk of infections.
- Chemotherapy. A high dose of chemotherapy in cancer patients leads to salivary gland failure and thereby causes Xerostomia.
- Autoimmune Disorders. In Autoimmune Disorders like Sjogren’s Syndrome, our immune system has a affinity to attack salivary glands causing damage again leading to dry mouth syndrome.
Symptoms of Dry Mouth or Xerostomia
The symptoms of dry mouth may include:
- Thick or stringy Saliva
- Dry or rough tongue
- The tongue glues against the top of the mouth
- Difficulty in chewing or swallowing (particularly dry foods such as biscuits)
- Bad Breath
- Mouth ulcers
- Dry and cracked lips
- Susceptibility to oral thrush infections
- High rate of tooth decay
- A tickle burning feeling in the mouth.
Treatment of Dry Mouth or Xerostomia
Depending on the source of Dry Mouth, health care provider can propose suitable treatment.
- If the Dry Mouth is contemplated to be caused by a medication, the doctor will either alter the dosage or prescribe another drug which is less likely to cause dry mouth.
- A medication such as pilocarpine (Salagen) or cevimeline (Evoxac) may be prescribed to stimulate the production of saliva.
Treatment for dry mouth usually includes four areas:
- Increasing the flow of saliva
- Replacing lost secretions
- Controlling dental caries
- Some specific measures, such as treating infections
Self Care for Dry Mouth or Xerostomia
There are also self-care steps you can take to be of assistance to ease Dry Mouth, such as
- Drinking plenty of water
- Chewing sugarless gum
- Avoid Smoking and Tobacco
- Avoid Alcohol.
- Reduce Caffeine consumption
- Breathing – breathing through the nose does not dry the mouth, while breathing through the mouth does.
- A humidifier can add moisture to a bedroom. This may help reduce dry mouth symptoms that develop during sleep.
- Avoid Sugary foods or drinks
- Avoid Acidic foods or drinks
- Avoid Dry foods
- Avoid Spicy foods
- Avoid Astringents
- Avoid Excessively hot or cold drinks