Dry mouth is also known as Xerostomia. It occurs when salivary glands in your mouth don’t produce sufficient saliva. It is not a disease, but a symptom of a medical illness or a side effect of certain medications, such as antihistamines, decongestants, pain killers, diuretics, and many others. Saliva is the mouth’s primary protection against tooth decay and maintains the health of the soft and hard tissues of the mouth. Saliva rinses away food and other debris, deactivates acids produced by bacteria in the mouth, and delivers disease-fighting elements throughout the mouth, offering first-line protection against microbial invasion or overgrowth that might lead to disease. Dry mouth is the uncomfortable feeling you get when you’re not producing adequate saliva to meet your needs. When your mouth fails to produce adequate saliva, you will discover yourself with more problems than just being thirsty. Dry mouth is invidious and intolerable, but some of that discomfort takes surprising forms. Did you know that deficiency of salivation can make your tongue burn? It’s a state known as burning tongue syndrome, and it’s just one of the surprising symptoms of dry mouth. When your mouth is dry, you may notice your mouth perceives sticky. It may become problematic to eat and swallow. Your throat may turn out to be dry as well, making choking more common. Along with all the other discomforts, dry mouth may make your lips crack, it may make your tongue uneven and dry, and it could cause sore mouth. Sometimes xerostomia can be traced back to nerve damage in the head or neck.
Without saliva, a widespread tooth of decay can also occur. Your dentist can recommend various methods to reinstate moisture. Sugarless candy stimulates saliva flow, and moistness can be substituted by using fake saliva and oral rinses.
By salivating, your mouth supports you to taste and digest what you eat and drink.
Taking care of your mouth starts at home. Follow the usual guidance from dentists and brush and floss every day. At those times when you can’t brush after a meal, make sure to rinse your mouth. Basically, drinking water throughout the day can improve your dental health, and by using an alcohol-free, antiseptic mouthwash every day. Ask your pharmacist for recommendations on over-the-counter treatments that may help relieve your symptoms. Avoid drinks with caffeine or lots of sugar and acid.
Make sure that you visit your dentist regularly for your cleanings and dental check-up.