Dry mouth is not something you feel only when you are thirsty, this is something you will feel when your mouth starts making lesser saliva than needed. The little saliva that you have is thick and stringy. Saliva is important as it helps you taste drinks and food and also digest them. In addition, it also flushes food particles away from the teeth and helps prevent food decay. Xerostomia is the other term used to refer to dry mouth.
Dry Mouth Could Mean Dry Skin
When you are not producing enough saliva the skin that is around your mouth might get tight and your lips may begin to crack. On top of that, you may also have trouble speaking or swallowing and your tongue will feel rough and dry all the time.
The Side Effects
Since saliva will not get rid of food particles in your mouth, you may easily get bad breath. The lipstick you wear will start sticking to your teeth because you do not have enough saliva to get it off. Dry mouth can even make you sound hoarse.
Medicines causing Dry Mouth
There are over 400 types of medicines that can lead to dry mouth; this includes the non prescription over the counter drugs for allergies or cold symptoms. Other than this, drugs that are used to treat blood pressure, mental health, and overactive bladder can be a cause too.
You can also get dry mouth after certain medical treatments like cancer radiation, as they damage the saliva producing glands.
Nerve damage can cause dry mouth pretty easily. Some of these nerves are responsible for carrying messages from the brain to the salivary glands. When nerves like that are damaged, they cannot tell the glands to make more saliva. Without the saliva, it becomes difficult to taste too.
The Several Other Causes of Dry Mouth
Dry mouth can also be caused by a medical condition known as Sjogren’s syndrome. This is an autoimmune condition where the white blood cells attack the glands that produce saliva. This is what leads to dry mouth and dry eyes. People who have HIV aids or diabetes may also suffer from this.
Smoking cigars, cigarettes, pipes or any of the tobacco products out there can make dry mouth worse than it already is. In a similar way, drinking alcohol and consuming caffeine can cause dry mouth.
Treatment for Dry Mouth
Start by talking to your doctor or the dentist if you feel you have dry mouth. If you are not taking any meds, then that could also be the reason behind this problem. Dry mouth could be just one of the many symptoms from a serious condition.
When you have a dry mouth, it can cause problems for your teeth as well. If you find that you cannot brush right after you have eaten the least you can do is rinse your mouth. Always make use of an alcohol free mouthwash.