Dry Mouth Is Common but Still Irritating

Dry mouth occurs when the salivary glands in your mouth fail to produce enough saliva. The common symptoms of a dry mouth include discomfort, sore throat, and difficulty swallowing. Increasing saliva production will help treat this condition.

There are other symptoms that develop as a result of a dry mouth, including bad breath, excessive thirst, sore lips and tongue, taste disorders, difficulty eating and speaking, tooth decay, and dry eyes.

What Is Saliva?

Saliva is the fluid that keeps your mouth and teeth healthy by keeping them moist. It is produced by the salivary glands in your mouth and is responsible for maintaining the mouth and teeth healthy in order to prevent oral problems such as cavities, bad breath, and speech problems.

What Are the Causes Of Dry Mouth?

Dry mouth is a disorder that occurs due to insufficient saliva or the dysfunction of the salivary gland. When something makes the salivary glands produce less saliva, dry mouth happens. In other cases, this condition is due to the changes in the quality of saliva, not the quantity.

This condition develops as a result of certain medications, more common in older people, and radiation therapy, especially the ones intended for cancer patients.

  • Medications: Dry mouth is a very common side effect of many prescription and over-the-counter medicines, including antidepressants, anticholinergics, antihistamines, decongestants, and some specific drugs for high blood pressure. Chemotherapy treatments can also cause dry mouth.
  • Medical disorders: Dry mouth may sometimes be a side effect of a serious health condition, such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and stroke.
  • Dehydration: Dry mouth occurs when your body loses too much fluid due to an illness, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive sweating, or failing to drink enough water.
  • Nasal congestion: If you have a stuffy nose you might be breathing through your mouth, which will lead to a dry mouth.

Dry Mouth Treatments

There are different treatments for dry mouth depending on what is causing the problem. There are three areas of focus during dry mouth treatment: preventing tooth decay, diagnosing and managing other possible medical conditions, and stimulating saliva flow. All dry mouth treatments involve reviewing your medical history to determine the proper plan for your specific condition.

Dry Mouth Prevention

You are not able to control all causes of a dry mouth. However, you can stop some of them by drinking enough water, using a humidifier in your bedroom, and breathing through your nose. Avoiding the medications which worsen or cause dry mouth, caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol can be a big help.

If dry mouth is caused by a damage to the salivary gland as a result of such severe disorders as Sjogren’s syndrome, diabetes, or cancer, your treatment will focus on increasing the flow of saliva.

Healthy Lifestyle and Home Remedies

Your lifestyle and diet have a significant impact on your dry mouth. Here are a few things you can do to prevent this condition:

  • Stay hydrated

Drinking water is the most crucial factor in relieving your dry mouth. According to studies, increasing the daily water intake can treat dehydration.

  • Avoid certain medications

Ninety percent of dry mouth cases are stated to be developed by specific medications, including antihistamines, antihypertensives, hormone medications, and bronchodilators. To ease your dry mouth, you should steer clear of the aforementioned medications, if at all possible, sip water before taking your medicines, and have your medications in the morning. However, you should not just stop taking your prescription medicines just because it is causing your dry mouth. There are specific drugs that can help treat dry mouth by restoring the damaged salivary glands.

  • Care for your hygiene

Proper oral hygiene helps you to treat your dry mouth. It would also help if you cleaned your teeth regularly to prevent tooth decay and cavities, which are more common once you have a dry mouth. Proper oral hygiene will also encourage the formation of saliva to protect you from oral diseases.

  • Limit caffeine and alcohol consumption

Caffeinated beverages and alcohol can cause dehydration and dry mouth.

  • Stop smoking

Though not being an associated risk factor, tobacco can contribute to dry mouth based on some studies.

  • Avoid sugar

Cutting down on sugary foods and drinks help to reduce dry mouth symptoms.

  • Try stimulating saliva flow

There are artificial saliva products available over-the-counter to help with the formation of more saliva. Saliva production can also be encouraged by chewing gums and swallowing water or other hydrating fluids.

  • Use humidifiers

Humidification can improve your dry mouth symptoms by adding moisture to your surroundings. Cool-mist humidifiers will reduce your discomfort, as suggested by studies.

  • Take herbal remedies

There are certain herbs that could be helpful for temporary relief when you have a dry mouth. Aloe Vera, ginger, hollyhock root, marshmallow root, nopal cactus, spilanthes, and sweet pepper can help relieve dry mouth, as they encourage salivation.

Dry Mouth Lozenges

Sucking on lozenges will help with a dry mouth through stimulating saliva production. There are sugar-free lozenges for treating this condition as well. Xylitol is one of the ingredients that stimulates salivary flow; it reduces bacteria that may encourage a dry mouth, and minimizes the risk of tooth decay. Sucking on these lozenges also encourages your chewing muscles to facilitate saliva flow.

Dry Mouth and Covid

There are cases of dry mouth that have been reported to be related to COVID-19. As an acute respiratory syndrome, COVID-19 can be associated with various oral complications, and dental cavities are the potential entry points for SARS-CoV-2. Salivary glands are considered one of the SARS-CoV-2 targets. Early diagnosis can help with the successful treatment of Covid dry mouth.

Dry Mouth and Anxiety

Anxiety is known to cause a dry mouth. You can take an anxiety symptoms test to find out how severe your anxiety is and look for a proper method to treat it. Here is how anxiety can cause dry mouth:

  • Anxiety can trigger a fight-or-flight response, so the body moves fluids to the areas it feels will need them more.
  • People with anxiety have a higher tendency to breathe through their mouths. Mouth breathing is more common in people with severe anxiety. It will dry out your tongue and affect saliva production.
  • People with severe anxiety may experience acid reflux, which may cause dry mouth by affecting the salivary glands and decreasing saliva. A dry mouth developed due to acid reflux may give you a sticky feeling and a bad taste.
  • Medications taken for anxiety (anti-anxiety drugs) such as Xanax, Valium, and Lorazepam are known to cause dry mouth.
  • People with anxiety experience real physical symptoms such as headaches, nausea, fatigue, and of course, dry mouth.

You can contact us at Ariadental if you need more information about this condition. Our staff is ready to offer you effective solutions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *