First off, what is dry mouth?
If you have a problem in swallowing food or notice that your mouth is unusually dry, you may be suffering from dry mouth. The condition is technically known as Xerostomia.
Usually, dry mouth is caused by the inability of salivary glands to make enough saliva resulting in the decrease of saliva levels in our mouth. Dry mouth can be a result of some problems which are affecting salivary glands directly or due to any side effects of medication.
Saliva assists in preventing tooth decay by neutralizing the acid produced in the mouth. It also prevents bacterial overgrowth, limiting them to a minimum quantity. Lack of saliva may affect your health adversely.
Dry mouth can be just a little problem or can expand to a serious health risk. In any case, steps must be taken to prevent dry mouth and to cure it.
There are many symptoms which predict you have a dry mouth, including:
There are various causes of a dry mouth. Some of them are listed below –
1) Aging – Older people take many medications which may result in having a dry mouth. Also, they can have some medical conditions which may lead to dry mouth.
2) Medication – Loads of medicines, pills, and oral doses have dry mouth as their side effect. Depression drugs are most likely to cause this problem, as well as antihistamines, decongestants, muscle relaxants and pain medications.
3) Cancer therapy –Chemotherapeutic treatments can cause dry mouth as they affect salivary gland and amount of saliva produced.
4) Nerve Damage – Any injury causing nerve damage in the neck area can affect the proper functioning of salivary glands causing dry mouth.
There are many other health conditions like HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease which can lead to the development of the condition.
Lack of saliva can cause various problems to your health. They are discussed below.
If you are facing any concerns with your mouth being too dry, contact your physician immediately.