Causes And Treatment Of Dry Mouth

Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, is an unpleasant condition that can be caused by a variety of medical conditions or medications. It occurs when the salivary glands don't produce enough saliva. Saliva is important because it helps keep the mouth moist, aids in digestion, and helps prevent tooth decay. Dry mouth can lead to bad breath, an increased risk of cavities, and difficulty eating, speaking, and swallowing. Fortunately, there are treatments available to help combat this uncomfortable condition.

Cause

There are many potential causes of dry mouth, including

• Certain medications: Many medications, such as antihistamines, decongestants, blood pressure medications, and antidepressants, can reduce saliva production.

• Dehydration: Not drinking enough fluids can lead to dry mouth.

• Medical conditions: Diabetes, stroke, and Sjogren's syndrome can all cause dry mouth.

• Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy to the head and neck can decrease saliva production.

Treatment

Although there is no cure for dry mouth, there are treatments that can help alleviate the symptoms.

• Drink plenty of fluids: Staying hydrated is the most important thing you can do to combat dry mouth. Water is the best choice, but sugar-free drinks such as tea, coffee, and sports drinks can also help.

• Chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free candy: Chewing sugar-free gum or sucking on sugar-free candy can stimulate saliva production.

• Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco: These substances can further dry out the mouth.

• Use a saliva substitute: Saliva substitutes, such as Biotene, can help keep the mouth moist.

• Use a humidifier: A humidifier can help increase moisture in the air, which can help reduce dry mouth.

• Try natural remedies: Some natural remedies, such as licorice root, slippery elm bark, and marshmallow root, can help reduce dry mouth symptoms.

• See your doctor: In some cases, medications can be adjusted or your doctor may be able to prescribe medications to help stimulate saliva production.

If dry mouth is left untreated, it can lead to other problems such as dental decay, infection, and difficulty speaking and swallowing.

What is Dry Mouth?

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Causes of Dry Mouth

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Symptoms of Dry Mouth

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