What is Dry Mouth?
Dry mouth is a condition that usually results from decreased production of saliva. At times, dry mouth or xerostomia can make it difficult to speak and may lead to malnutrition. Extreme dry mouth and salivary gland dysfunction can produce significant and permanent mouth and throat disorders and can impair a person’s quality of life.
Dry mouth affects about 10% of all people and tends to be more prevalent in women than men. Disorders of saliva production affect the elderly and those who are taking medications most frequently. There are many causes of dry mouth, most commonly it occurs as a side effect of medications that cause decrease saliva production, including blood pressure medications, antihistamines, antidepressants diuretics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories and many others. Radiation treatments for cancerous tumors of the head, neck and salivary gland diseases, as well as hormonal imbalances, mouth breathing sleep apnea can also cause dry mouth. Eating disorders such as bulimia also increase the risk of developing dry mouth. Dry mouth can also occur during pregnancy or during breastfeeding due to dehydration and hormonal changes in the body. When a major salivary duct becomes blocked production of saliva can be decreased, reasons for this can mean an infection. Other causes of dry mouth can includes factors such as stress, anxiety or depression and of course dehydration.
What are the benefits of saliva?
Saliva is an essential part of a healthy mouth the lubricating properties of saliva provide comfort and help protect the oral tissues against ulcers, sores, and other effects of friction. Saliva neutralizes acids and provides antibodies against bacterial threat. Saliva helps digest food and helps teeth in re-mineralization. Saliva is also a very essential contributor to a person’s ability to taste, as it acts as a solvent for the taste stimuli.
How to combat Dry mouth
Make sure you are getting enough water daily, drinking a big glass of water first thing in the morning helps to alleviate dehydration as well as a glass of water before bed helps keep the body hydrated during sleep.
For more information on dry mouth and how we can help contact our International Patient coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 305 280 2272