Dry Mouth | Xerostomia: Causes, symptoms & Treatment

Dry Mouth | Xerostomia

When the salivary glands in the mouth do not produce enough saliva for keeping the mouth moist as the resulting mouth becomes dry and This can lead to discomfort, difficulty speaking, and an increased risk of dental decay and gum disease. This condition of dry mouth is also called xerostomia. Saliva is essential for maintaining oral health as it helps to cleanse the mouth, neutralize acid produced by bacteria, and facilitate swallowing and digestion.

Causes of Xerostomia

Xerostomia can be caused by a variety of factors, including certain medications, medical conditions such as Sjogren’s syndrome or diabetes, radiation therapy to the head and neck, nerve damage, and dehydration. Additionally, lifestyle factors such as tobacco and alcohol use can also contribute to dry mouth.

symptoms of Xerostomia

Symptoms of xerostomia include a dry feeling in the mouth, difficulty swallowing or speaking, a sore throat, a burning sensation in the mouth, cracked lips, and an increased risk of dental decay and gum disease.

Treatment of Xerostomia

Treatment for xerostomia typically involves addressing the underlying cause and using strategies to increase saliva flow, such as drinking more water, chewing sugar-free gum, or using artificial saliva substitutes. It is also important to maintain good oral hygiene practices, such as brushing and flossing regularly and visiting a dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings.

Medicines For Dry Mouth | Xerostomia

There are several types of medications available to treat dry mouth. Here are some examples:

  • Saliva substitutes: These are products that mimic the properties of natural saliva and can be used to moisten the mouth. They are available as sprays, lozenges, gels, and rinses.
  • Prescription medications: These include drugs that stimulate saliva production, such as pilocarpine and cevimeline. They are generally used for severe cases of dry mouth.
  • Biotene products: Biotene is a brand of oral care products specifically designed for people with dry mouths. They include toothpaste, mouthwash, and saliva substitutes.
  • Fluoride treatments: People with dry mouths are at an increased risk of dental decay, so fluoride treatments may be recommended to help prevent cavities.
  • Sugar-free Chewing gum and candy helps stimulate saliva production in the mouth.
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