Ever experienced a dry mouth? It happens to all of us every once in a while. We all need saliva to moisten and cleanse our mouths, keep bacteria under control, and to help us digest our food properly. If we don’t produce enough saliva, we experience a dry mouth, which can be uncomfortable. It is normal to experience a dry mouth occasionally, but if it becomes a frequent chronic problem then something may be an underlying cause.
There are several causes for dry mouth, also known in medical terms as Xerostomia. Causes range from:
- A side effect from prescription and non-prescription drugs used to treat everything from depression and anxiety, cols and allergies, acne, diarrhea, and asthma.
- A side effect of certain diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, Sjogren’s syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis.
- A side effect of muscle relaxants and sedatives.
- A side effect for medical treatments that may have damaged the salivary glands, such as radiation and chemotherapy treatments.
- Dehydration from excessive sweating, fever, blood loss or burns.
- Lifestyle choices, such as smoking or chewing tobacco.
Besides being uncomfortable, dry mouth can lead to more serious problems, such as increasing a person’s risk of gingivitis and gum disease. Treatment is often a very simple process.
If you think dry mouth is caused by medicines or prescriptions, talk with your doctor about the dosage and other options. If you aren’t sure what is causing your dry mouth, you can change some of your daily habits.
- Drink more water to keep your mouth moist.
- Suck on sugar free candy to help increase saliva.
- Protect your teeth by visiting your dentist regularly.
- Breath more though your nose, not through your mouth.
- Add moisture to your bedroom with a room vaporizer.
- Use an artificial saliva substitute.