Dry mouth is clinically known as Xerostomia. Dry mouth is something we have all experienced at some point in time, given the stress, nerves, or dehydration, but if this feeling persists over time, we must remedy it.
A dry mouth occurs when salivary glands cannot produce enough saliva to keep the mouth moist. The xerostomia, commonly called dry mouth, is a problem that can cause discomfort when eating, swallowing, or speaking due to the lack of saliva.
Saliva is responsible for the breakdown of food in the mouth and swallowing it helps. It also plays an important role in our oral health since it cleans the food particles that lodge in our mouths.
These types of conditions can increase the risk of suffering from some oral infection, such as cavities. By not producing a significant amount of saliva, it is more difficult to control and fight germs.
What Causes This Condition?
Several reasons can cause dry mouth. Among the most common we find:
- Inadequate drinking
- Open mouth position while sleeping/rest
- Dry hot weather
- The nerves or stress, and public speaking for quite some time.
- The side effects of certain medications, which can cause the salivary glands to secrete less saliva. For example, antidepressants, antihistamines, diuretics, or those that fight hypertension.
- Systemic illnesses such as diabetes, Parkinson’s, or psychiatric illnesses such as depression.
- Autoimmune diseases, the most common is Sjögren’s syndrome, which mainly affects older people and causes dry eyes and mouth.
- Treatments such as radiation therapy or chemotherapy also cause dry mouth.
- Nerve injuries, these types of injuries may have damaged the nerves that send signals to the salivary glands, disrupting their function.
- Likewise, tobacco, alcohol, or any other drug are also responsible for it.
Is There Any Treatment Against Dry Mouth?
That’s how it is. Although we always recommend going to your dentist to find out the exact cause, there are some guidelines to follow that will help you treat or prevent mild xerostomia.
To do this, we advise you to increase your oral hygiene, stay hydrated (it is recommended to drink 2 liters of water a day), and stimulate saliva production.
If you suffer from this type of dry mouth condition, we recommend you go to your dentist, who will determine the exact cause of your condition and will determine the most appropriate treatment for you.
Other Remedies That Can Help Us Prevent Dry Mouth
In addition to the tips listed above, we can follow other guidelines that will help us prevent xerostomia are:
- Always stay hydrated. It is imperative to drink water, although it is not recommended to be at extreme temperatures, very cold or scorching.
- Avoid drinks such as alcohol or that contain caffeine.
- It is also not advisable to drink sugary or carbonated drinks.
- Chewing sugar-free gum stimulates saliva production.
- Avoid excessively sugary foods
- Avoid tobacco
However, if you suffer from serious dryness problems, do not hesitate to visit your nearest dentist. As always, at SAKTI Dental Clinic, we will be happy to help you.
Dr. Shiva Sankar is the Clinical Director and Orthodontist at Sakti Dental Clinic, Tirunelveli with over 18+ years of experience in dentistry. He is also a Professor in the Department of Orthodontics, Rajas Dental College affiliated to, Dr.MGR Medical University. Dr. Shiva Sankar frequently publishes research papers in leading scientific national and international journals.