Dry MouthWhat is dry Mouth?
Dry mouth also called xerostomia. Dry mouth occurs when the amount of saliva in your mouth becomes reduced. This can cause a sticky of dry feeling or thick, stringy saliva. Saliva lubricates and protects your mouth from infection by bacteria, from chemicals in the atmosphere and from hot food and drinks.
Reduced saliva flow, which causes dry mouth, can damage mouth tissue, cause dental decay and contribute to bad breath.
What are the symptoms of dry mouth?
- The mouth looking red and parched
- A dry feeling in the throat
- Stickiness to the touch
- Frequent thirst
- Cracking at the corners of the mouth
- Problems speaking or difficulty tasting, chewing, and swallowing
- A feeling of soreness in the mouth
What Causes Dry Mouth?
- Side effect of certain medications - Dry mouth is a common side effect of many prescription and non-prescription drugs, including drugs used to treat depression, anxiety, pain, allergies, and colds.
- Dehydration - Illnesses that lead to dehydration, such as excessive sweating, vomiting, fever, diarrhea, blood loss, and burns can cause dry mouth.
- Side effect of certain diseases and infections - Dry mouth can be a side effect of medical conditions, including Cancer, Sjögren's syndrome Alzheimer's disease, Diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, anemia, cystic fibrosis, HIV/AIDS, Stroke and mumps.
- Chemotherapy. Drugs used to treat cancer can make saliva thicker, causing the mouth to feel dry.
- Nerve damage - Dry mouth can be a result of nerve damage to the head and neck area from an injury or surgery.
- Side effect of certain medical treatments – Damaged to salivary glands from radiation to the head and neck and chemotherapy treatments for cancer, can reduce the amount of saliva produced.
What can be done about dry mouth?
- If your salivary glands are not working right but can still produce some saliva, your physician or dentist might give you a medicine that helps the glands work better.
- If your dry mouth is caused by medicine, your physician might change your medicine or adjust the dosage.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Chew sugar free gum or suck sugar free candies.
The Impact of Dry Mouth
Dry mouth can have a profound impact. It can affect your physically, emotionally, and socially. If you have dry mouth, you may already experiencing or could experience any of the following.
- EMOTIONAL IMPACT: Feeling self-conscious, anxious, or stressed, feeling different from others, or having low confidence level.
- SOICIAL IMPACT: Need to carry and sip water throughout the day, feeling embarrassed and /or irritable, or avoiding eating out and other social situations
- PHYSICAL IMPACT: Ongoing bad breath, increased number of cavities, mouth infections, increased plaque, cracked lips, difficulty talking, difficulty swallowing/eating, or and altered sense of taste.
WAYS TO DECREASE YOUR DRY MOUTH SYMPTOMS
Try the following tips to help manage your DRY MOUTH AVOID THINGS THAT DRY THE MOUTH
- Some hard, dry, or crunchy foods, like crackers, may cut or gaze your gums and should be avoided.
- Dunk dry or crispy foods, like biscuits, into liquids to make them softer.
- Avoid tobacco and alcohol
- Avoid spicy, salty and highly acidic foods that may irritate the mouth
MAKE FOODS EASIER TO EAT
- Steam vegetables until they are soft.
- Increase the moisture in solid foods by adding, broth, soup, sauce, gravy, creams, butter, or yogurt to make them easier to swallow
- Alternate eating foods with taking sips of liquid.
KEEP YOUR MOUTH MOIST
- Drink cold, unsweetened drinks, taking small, regular sips.
- Use toothpaste with fluoride in it.
- Gently brush your teeth at least twice a day.
- Floss your teeth every day.
- Avoid sticky, sugary foods. If you do eat them, brush immediately afterwards.
- Visit your dentist for a check-up at least twice a year.
Article By:- eHealthhut Webmaster