Dry Mouth – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Saliva keeps your mouth moist and clean, thus acts as a cavity fighter. Saliva controls bacterial and fungal infection in the mouth. Absence of saliva can cause number of dental problems. Dry mouth is a condition where there is a decrease flow of saliva. Many people mistake dry mouth as thirst, but the causes are different. In this article, we will discuss the causes, symptoms and treatment of dry mouth.

Causes
There are a number of causes that lead to dry mouth:

  • People suffering from chronic disease such as diabetes and hypertension suffer from dry mouth.
  • Dry mouth is the side effects of use of certain medications.
  • Breathing continuously through mouth due to cold.
  • Patients undergoing cancer treatment or any radiation therapy are likely to face dry-mouth.
  • Certain lifestyle like smoking and drinking alcohol causes dry mouth.
  • Dehydration can cause dry mouth.
  • If you have issues with salivary glands, it might lead to dry mouth.

Symptoms

  • Frequent thirst
  • Burning or tingling sensation in mouth
  • Dry and sticky feeling in mouth
  • Difficulty in swallowing and tasting
  • Trouble in speaking
  • Bad breath
  • Cracked or chapped lips
  • Burning tongue
  • Dry or rough tongue
  • High rate of cavities/tooth decay
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Dryness may cause persistent cough

Treatment

  • Drink plenty of water for keeping your mouth dry. Always carry water along with you so that you can sip throughout the day.
  • Chew sugarless chewing gum, as this can in stimulating saliva.
  • Avoid mouthwash that contains alcohol or peroxide. This will worsen the condition.
  • Limit the intake of salty and spicy food as such foods can irritate dry mouth.
  • For combating the effect of dry mouth, use antimicrobial mouthwash.
  • Breath through your nose as far as possible, as breathing through mouth can make your mouth even more dry.
  • Avoid acidic and citrus and drinks like citrus fruits, juices, etc.
  • Your doctor may prescribe you some medications like pilocarpine that can stimulate salivary glands.

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