Dry Mouth Causes and Treatment

Always feeling thirsty?- Maybe you are suffering from xerostomia. 

Dry mouth, also called xerostomia, is an oral health condition wherein your salivary glands don't produce enough saliva to keep your mouth moisturized and wet. Your saliva is essential in balancing acids produced by bacteria that limit bacterial growth.

Saliva also prevents tooth decay from forming, and it helps wash away food particles that can create plaque. In addition, your saliva enhances your sense of taste and makes it easier for you to chew and swallow the food.  

Extreme dry mouth can impact one's quality of life since it can lead to mouth and throat disorder making it difficult for the person to eat and speak. Read on to learn the different causes, symptoms, and treatment of dry mouth.  

What Causes Dry Mouth?

Dry mouth is more prevalent in women than men and affects around 1 in 4 adults. Many people aged over 50 experience having a dry mouth as they age, and those who are take medications frequently. More than 400 types of nonprescription and prescriptions medicines can cause dry mouth. Here are some of the following causes of dry mouth: 

  • heart medications and prescription drugs for high blood pressure 
  • antihistamines, antidepressants, and decongestants 
  • medications for overactive bladder 
  • prescriptions drugs for mental health issues 
  • medical treatments like cancer radiation or chemotherapy  

Symptoms to look out for Dry Mouth 

People who have dry mouths also experience the following symptoms: 

  • always feeling thirsty 
  • dryness in the throat 
  • bad breath and sore tongue 
  • burning feeling in the mouth 
  • cracks in the corner of the mouth 
  • trouble in swallowing and speaking 

How to Prevent Dry Mouth?  

To prevent having a dry mouth, it is essential always to keep your mouth moisturized by drinking enough water. It is important to always stay hydrated throughout the day. Avoid consuming foods and drinks high in acid, alcohol, and caffeine content like coffee, sodas, tea, and beer.  

Smoking can also trigger a dry mouth, so avoid smoking or much better to stop it if you are a smoker since it can lead to other health problems aside from having a dry mouth. You can also use sugar-free items like ice chips, gum, or hard candy to keep your mouth moist without you worrying about getting tooth decay.  

Moreover, you need to follow good oral care habits that will promote healthy dental and oral health. Use fluoride toothpaste, and as much as possible, avoid using mouthwash that contains ingredients like alcohol that will further dry your mouth.  

Ways to Treat Dry Mouth

You may talk to a healthcare professional or your dentist to recommend the right treatment. For example, if you take medications that cause your mouth to dry, your doctor may change your prescription. Over-the-counter artificial saliva products may also help produce more saliva when taken. 

But the best way to treat and avoid having a dry mouth is always to drink plenty of water always to keep your mouth moisturized and make your oral hygiene a priority.