Dry parched lips. Dry mouth. Bad breath. Dry throat.
Does this sound familiar?
If yes, then you may have ‘Dry Mouth’ also called ‘Xerostomia’.
What is Dry Mouth?
Dry mouth or Xerostomia is a condition in which the production of saliva is decreased due to various reasons.
Saliva helps in digestion by breaking down the food. It also flushes out the food stuck in between teeth and helps prevent dental cavities and gum diseases.
Why would one experience dry mouth?
Dry mouth is caused due to various reasons like
- Dehydration – dehydration is caused due to loss of too much fluid without any or reduced intake of water. This may happen by vomiting, blood loss, or upset stomach.
- Medications – some medications lead to reduced production of saliva
- Radiation therapy – radiation therapy is recommended after cancer surgery. During and after radiation therapy, saliva is reduced
- Stress – dry mouth is something everyone has experienced at least once due to stress
- Ageing – saliva reduces as age increases
- Smoking – smoking or tobacco use affects saliva production
- Medical conditions – people with medical conditions like diabetes, autoimmune disorders show dry mouth
Does one face any issues due to dry mouth?
Dry mouth is an issue indeed. It gives problems like
- Dry and chapped lips
- Difficulty in chewing food, swallowing food
- Bad breath
- Inflammation of gums
- Mouth sores
- Increased chances of dental cavities
- Issues in wearing dentures
What can one do when one has dry mouth?
Dry mouth is usually treatable by some simple at home tips and some treatments
- Drinking water by sipping water throughout the day
- Avoid tobacco chewing and smoking
- Chewing on sugarless chewing gum to increase saliva secretion
- Talk with your doctor if medication is causing it
- Over the counter saliva substitutes
Dry mouth can be an everyday issue but by taking simple steps one can make it easier.