Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, is a condition whereby the salivary glands produce a low amount of saliva which makes it very difficult for your mouth to stay wet.
The main cause of dry mouth is as a result of side effects from certain medications, radiation from certain therapies, or natural aging causes.
A dry mouth is not good for oral health. The saliva in your mouth is very useful and plays a key role in slowing down tooth decay by neutralizing the acid in the month. Also, saliva helps you to chew and swallow food easily.
How to Know That You Have Dry Mouth
The following are the symptoms of dry mouth.
- Dryness and stickiness in the mouth
- Thick saliva
- Bad breath
- Difficulty in chewing and swallowing food
- Dry and sore throat
- Grooved and dry tongue
- Difficulties wearing dentures
You need to seek immediate medical attention when you notice one or more of these symptoms occurring.
Dry Mouth Complications
When left untreated dry mouth can have a serious effect on your health. Some of the dry mouth complications include:
- Increased rate of tooth decay, plaque formation, and an increased risk of gum disease.
- Emergence of mouth sores
- Poor nutrition due to difficulty in eating foods
- Yeast infections
- Cracked lips, sores and split skin at the edges of your mouth.
How to Control Dry Mouth
The best way to deal with dry mouth issues is to first identify the root cause of the problem. As stated, some of the causes of dry mouth include ageing, medications, nerve damage, cancer therapy, alcohol and tobacco use, or other health conditions such as HIV/AIDS.
There are few things that you can do to limit and control the effects of dry mouth; these include:
- Limit the use of caffeine and tobacco because these make your mouth drier
- Use sugar-free chewing gums or candy to stimulate saliva flow.
- Stop using mouthwashes that contain alcohol because they have been proven to dry your mouth
- Brush your teeth regularly
- Sip water from time to time
- Avoid acidic foods and sugary foods
Make sure that you seek a dental appointment to help alleviate your situation. This will help in pointing out potential oral problems.