Physinews Health Tips: How To Manage Dry Mouth

Physinews Daily Health Tips: Dry mouth (xerostomia) is a condition that occurs when
salivary glands in the mouth don’t work properly. It causes a
parched feeling in the mouth. Other symptoms include a
rough tongue, mouth sores, and cracked lips.
Saliva is a
necessary part of the digestion process. It’s needed to
moisten and break down food and works as a major defense
mechanism to help your body maintain good dental health.
Saliva protects the mouth against gum disease and tooth
decay. While not a serious medical condition, dry mouth
can be a sign of a larger medical problem.

Causes of dry mouth include:
Side effect of certain medications.
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
(antihistamines and decongestants), obesity, acne,
epilepsy, hypertension (diuretics), diarrhoea, nausea,
psychotic disorders, urinary incontinence, asthma (certain
bronchodilators), and Parkinson’s disease. Dry mouth can
also be a side effect of muscle relaxants and sedatives.
Side effect of certain diseases and infections.
mouth can be a side effect of medical conditions, including
Sjögren’s syndrome, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease,
diabetes, anaemia, cystic fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis,
hypertension, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and mumps.
Side effect of certain diseases and infections.
Dry
mouth can be a side effect of medical conditions, including
Sjögren’s syndrome, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, anaemia, cystic fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis,
hypertension, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and mumps.
Side effect of certain medical treatments. Damage to the salivary glands, the glands that make saliva, can reduce the amount of saliva produced. For example, the damage
could stem from radiation to the head and neck, and
chemotherapy treatments, for cancer.
Nerve damage. Dry mouth can be a result of nerve damage
to the head and neck area from an injury or surgery.
Conditions that lead to dehydration, such as fever, diabetes, excessive sweating, vomiting, diarrhoea, blood loss, and burns can cause dry mouth.
Surgical removal of the salivary glands.
Smoking or chewing tobacco can affect how much saliva
you make and aggravate dry mouth.
Breathing with your
mouth open a lot can also contribute to the problem.
What Are the Symptoms of Dry Mouth?
Common symptoms include:
A sticky, dry feeling in the mouth
Frequent thirst Sores in the mouth;
sores or split skin at the corners of the mouth; cracked lips
A dry feeling in the throat
A burning or tingling sensation in the mouth and especially
on the tongue
A dry, red, raw tongue
Problems speaking or trouble tasting, chewing, and
swallowing
Hoarseness, dry nasal passages, sore throat
Bad breath
Why Is Dry Mouth a Problem?
Besides causing the symptoms mentioned above, dry mouth
also raises your risk of gingivitis (gum disease), tooth decay,
and mouth infections, such as thrush. Dry mouth can also
make it hard to wear dentures.
How Is Dry Mouth Treated?
If you think your dry mouth is caused by certain medication
you’re taking, talk to your doctor.
The doctor may adjust the
dose you’re taking or switch you to a different drug that
doesn’t cause dry mouth. The doctor may also prescribe an
oral rinse to restore mouth moisture. If that doesn’t help, he
or she may prescribe a medication that boosts saliva production called
Salagen.

You can also try these other steps, which may help improve
saliva flow:
• Suck on sugar-free candy or chew sugar-free gum.

• Drink plenty of water to help keep your mouth moist.
Brush with a fluoride toothpaste, use a fluoride rinse, and
visit your dentist regularly.

• Breathe through your nose, not your mouth, as much as possible.
Use a room vaporizer to add moisture to the bedroom air.

• Use an over-the-counter artificial saliva substitute.

Stay Healthy!!!