Dry mouth is the condition of not having enough saliva, or spit, to keep your mouth wet. Medically it is called Xerostomia.

Everyone has a dry mouth once in a while — if they are nervous, upset or under stress. But if you have a dry mouth all or most of the time, it can be uncomfortable and can lead to serious health problems.

Effects on Oral health:

  • Cause difficulties in tasting, chewing, swallowing, and speaking·
  •  Increase your chance of developing dental decay and other infections in the mouth·
  •  Can be a sign of certain diseases and conditions·

Causes of dry mouth:

  • Drugs, Medication and certain medical treatments like chemotherapy, radiotherapy.
  • Medical conditions like Diabetes, Sjogren's syndrome, cerebral palsy.
  • Dehydration
  • Salivary duct obstruction
  • Hormonal changes due to pregnancy or menopause
  • Mouth breathing
  • Smoking Alcohol and caffeine intake.

Symptoms Include:

  • A sticky, dry feeling in the mouth
  • Trouble chewing, swallowing, tasting or speaking
  • A burning feeling in the mouth
  • A dry feeling in the throat
  • Cracked lips
  • A dry, rough tongue
  • Mouth sores
  • An infection in the mouth.

Remedies:

  • If your dry mouth is caused by medicine, your physician might change your medicine or adjust the dosage
  • 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
  • Your physician or dentist might suggest that you use artificial saliva to keep your mouth wet.
  • Sip water or sugarless drinks often
  • Avoid drinks with caffeine, such as coffee, tea, and some sodas
  • Sip water or a sugarless drink during meals. This will make chewing and swallowing easier. It may also improve the taste of food
  • Chew sugarless gum or suck on sugarless hard candy to stimulate saliva flow; citrus, cinnamon or mint-flavoured candies are good choices
  • Don’t use tobacco or alcohol. They dry out the mouth
  •  Be aware that spicy or salty foods may cause pain in a dry mouth
  •  Use a humidifier at night

Conclusion:

Saliva upholds the well being of your teeth gums and mouth. So dry mouth shouldn’t be taken lightly it is a risk factor for poor dental and oral health. Dry mouth is not a normal part of ageing. So if you think you have dry mouth, see your dentist or physician.