Also known as Xerostomia, Dry mouth is a condition that occurs when the salivary glands in your mouth don’t produce enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. If you have an issue in swallowing food and notice that your mouth is unusually dry without any reason, you may be suffering from dry mouth. Additionally, it causes a parched feeling in your mouth and can lead to other symptoms, as well such as mouth sores, rough tongue, and cracked lips.
Dry mouth can be just a little problem but can expand into a serious health risk if preventive steps aren’t taken to prevent dry mouth and for a cure. There are many symptoms which result in the occurrence of a dry mouth including:
- Dryness In Your Mouth Or Throat
- Bad Breath
- Saliva That Seems Thick And Stringy
- Difficulty Chewing, Speaking And Swallowing
- A Changed Sense Of Taste
- Problems Wearing Dentures
- Frequent Tooth Decay
- Gum Irritation And Gum Disease.
What Causes Dry Mouth?
Dry mouth can be caused as a result of some existing issues which are currently affecting salivary glands directly or due to any side effects of medication. Intake of particular medications and supplements, such as chemotherapy drugs and appetite suppressants, can also result in dry mouth. Saliva helps in preventing tooth decay by helping neutralise the acid produced in the mouth, thus also curbing the bacterial overgrowth. Furthermore, a lack of saliva may also affect your health adversely.
There are several causes which lead to the occurrence of a dry mouth. Some of the most common ones are listed below:
- Ageing – As one gets older, it mandates the intake of certain medications which may result in having a dry mouth. Other common factors include insufficient nutrition, recurrent long-term health issues, and also the body’s inability to process medication.
- Cancer Treatment – Chemotherapeutic treatments can cause dry mouth as they directly affect the salivary gland and its ability to produce an adequate amount of saliva.
- Nerve Damage – Any injury causing nerve damage around the neck area can affect the proper functioning of salivary glands and may result in dry mouth.
- Medication – Loads of medicines, pills and oral doses can also result in dry mouth as their side effect. Some of the most common medications which result in dry mouth include drugs to treat depression, high blood pressure and anxiety. Additionally, certain types of antihistamines, decongestants, muscle relaxants and pain medications may also result in dry mouth.
- Excessive Usage of Tobacco and Alcohol – Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol or smoking in excess can lead to dry mouth symptoms.
- Other Health Conditions– Certain type of health conditions such as HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease can also result in a dry mouth.
Lack of saliva can also lead to further problems such as-
- As the saliva neutralises acid in your teeth and is also responsible for limiting bacterial growth, the lack of saliva can result in further tooth decay and increased plaque.
- Saliva helps in keeping your mouth bacteria free This condition can also result in the development of sores in your mouth and fungal infection.
- Dry mouth can result in sticking of lipstick to your teeth while also causing the occurrence of sores and split skin at the corners of mouth along with cracked lips.
- Dry Mouth can cause difficulties in swallowing and chewing of food as a result of which the body tends to get less nutritional intake than the regular amount.
- Dry mouth can also result in having a coated tongue which leaves you with a gagging sensation in mouth thus making it harder for you to chew or swallow food properly.