Insufficient saliva production by the salivary glands in the mouth causes dry mouth, also known as xerostomia. It can occasionally occur due to anxiety, stress, or emotional distress. On the other hand, persistent dry mouth may indicate a dangerous underlying medical issue.
Why Does the Body Need Saliva?
Healthy teeth and a mouth are maintained by saliva. It cleans, moisturizes, and eliminates food from your mouth. The absence of saliva can lead to various issues, including:
Signs of a Dry Mouth
Symptoms of dry mouth include:
- Thick or stringy saliva
- Mouth ulcers
- A rough, dry tongue
- A tendency for the language to stick to the roof of the mouth
- Trouble chewing or swallowing (especially with dry foods like biscuits)
- Bad breath
- Dry, cracked lips
- High rates of tooth decay
- A prickly, burning feeling in the mouth
- Susceptibility to oral thrush infections
Causes of Dry Mouth
There are several causes of cold sore flare-ups, including:
- Mental Health: Anxiety and stress can cause it; if you have a panic attack, get emergency medical help immediately.
- Medication: Certain prescription medications reduce the saliva you naturally produce. Medication is to blame for 90% of all occurrences. When taking a new drug, ask your doctor about potential side effects, including this.
- Chronic Illness: Dry mouth is a symptom of diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and HIV/AIDS. Moreover, people with Sjogren’s Syndrome, an autoimmune condition affecting older women and men, have dry mouths and eyes. For people who have the disease, maintaining good dental health is crucial.
- Injury: Head, neck, and jaw injuries can damage the nerves communicating with the salivary glands.
- Dehydration: A lack of fluids in your body causes a this, giving you the sense of having cotton in your mouth.
- Drug Use: Methamphetamines dry out your mouth by dehydrating your body.
- Smoking: Smoking causes dehydration, a sore tongue, and several other health issues.
Dry Mouth Treatment
Depending on the underlying reason, treatment options include:
- Changes to Medications: If a medicine you are taking has a side effect of causing dry mouth, your doctor may be able to adjust the dose or suggest an alternative.
- Artificial Saliva Replacements: Your dentist or doctor can prescribe them. Use as instructed.
- Products: These items include lubricants and other substances that might help you treat it. Toothpaste, mouthwash, gums, and topical gels are available. Ask your dentist for suggestions.
- Dental Goods: These items may include high levels of fluoride or calcium to prevent tooth decay. Consult your dentist for recommendations.
- Antibiotics and antifungal medications: They may be used to treat an infection.
- Surgery: Minor surgery is frequently required to remove stones blocking the salivary glands.
- Other treatments: Any underlying condition, such as Sjogren’s syndrome or diabetes, requires the proper medical care.
Home Remedies for Dry Mouth
You may take several steps to add moisture if you have dry mouth symptoms, including:
- Drinking liquids at room temperature.
- Avoiding drinking large amounts of water in hot or cold temperatures.
- Avoiding carbonated beverages.
- Choosing beverages without sugar.
- Avoiding smoking.
- Reducing alcohol use
- Chewing sugarless gum
- Drinking water during meals
- Drinking alcohol-free mouthwash.
When Should a Medical Professional Treat It?
If you have
- Serious Symptoms: Get medical attention immediately.
- HIV Risk Factors: If you have a dry mouth and any other risk factors for HIV, you should see a doctor.
- Teeth Decay: See your dentist for an examination.
A dry mouth can significantly raise your risk of gum disease and tooth decay if you don’t practice basic oral hygiene. To prevent oral health problems, maintain good oral hygiene habits like brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day. If you always feel like you have cotton in your mouth or have more than minor everyday discomfort due to dry mouth symptoms, contact us or schedule an appointment online at SkyRise Dental in Thornhill, Toronto. A healthcare professional can accurately diagnose dry mouth and recommend the best treatment option for you.