A dry mouth is unpleasant and can cause certain side effects. When you have a dry mouth, you may also experience accompanying symptoms that further add to the unpleasantness you experience. While the condition may feel concerning, there are easy remedies that you can use to improve the production of saliva in your mouth. We will take a closer look at the reasons why you may experience dry mouth and consider both treatment and prevention methods you can use.
Dry mouth is known as xerostomia. It generally happens when the salivary glands in the mouth are unable to produce an adequate amount of saliva. The saliva in the mouth is what keeps the area wet and moist. If there is not enough saliva, then your mouth starts to become dry.
There are several reasons why people experience dry mouth, so it is important to understand these potential causes. Some common reasons include:
- Medication side-effect
- Following radiation therapy
- Salivary gland conditions
- Damage to nerves
- Tobacco use
- Alcohol use
- Certain recreational drugs
The risk of dry mouth also increases with age, as it is more common among older individuals.
The most common symptom that you will experience with xerostomia is dryness in your mouth. Sometimes, your mouth may also feel sticky on the inside. There are, however, several other symptoms that can accompany this dryness, such as the following:
- Alterations in your taste
- Grooved tongue
- Bad breath
- A sore throat
People who wear dentures may find that they do not fit properly when they have a dry mouth. Additionally, saliva may sometimes seem thicker than usual when you have dry mouth issues.
There are certain treatments that you can use to reduce the symptoms of dry mouth. If you use medication that is making your dry mouth worse, talk to your doctor. They may suggest a change in medication. The new medication may produce similar effects but have fewer side effects linked to your salivary glands.
There are also certain medicated treatment options that can help to add moisture to the mouth. You can try certain over-the-counter mouthwashes that are made to specifically moisten the mouth. There are also prescription options available.
In more serious cases, especially when the dry mouth starts to affect your dental hygiene, your doctor may prescribe you Evoxac or Salagen to stimulate the production of saliva.
Proper hydration and sipping on water regularly can help to keep your mouth moist. You can also try to make a habit of breathing through your nose and not your mouth, and ensure you use a product to keep your lips moisturized.
Further prevention methods include avoiding tobacco products and limiting your intake of alcohol and caffeine.
A dry mouth is unpleasant and can lead to dental cavities, bad breath, and other potential side effects. There are several ways in which you can prevent dry mouth from developing. Medical treatment options can also help when you are unable to treat dry mouth with certain home remedies or over-the-counter options.