The salivary glands produce saliva, sometimes known as spit, which is crucial for a healthy mouth. It softens and digests food, removes food debris from the teeth and gums, and facilitates swallowing. Saliva also has minerals like calcium and phosphate that work to strengthen teeth and prevent tooth decay.
Xerostomia, often known as dry mouth, is a condition in which there is insufficient saliva to keep the mouth moist. Everybody occasionally has dry mouth, for instance when they are anxious or agitated. But, persistent dry mouth can make it challenging to chew, swallow, and even speak. Since saliva helps keep hazardous microorganisms in check, dry mouth raises the risk of tooth decay or oral fungus infections. Ageing does not necessarily cause dry mouth. See your dentist or physician if you believe you have dry mouth to learn why.
Dry Mouth : Causes
The following are some potential reasons of dry mouth:
Some Medications’ Side Effects: The salivary glands might produce less saliva as a result of hundreds of medications. For instance, medications for depression, high blood pressure, and bladder control difficulties may induce dry mouth.
Disease: Dry mouth can be a symptom of Sjögren’s syndrome, HIV/AIDS, and diabetes.
Radiation Treatment: If the salivary glands are exposed to radiation while receiving cancer therapy, they may suffer damage.
Chemotherapy: Cancer-related medications may cause heavier saliva, which makes the mouth feel dry.
Nerve Harm: The nerves that instruct salivary glands to produce saliva might be harmed by head or neck injuries.
Dry Mouth Signs And Symptoms
- A dry, slick sensation in the mouth.
- Difficulty speaking, tasting, swallowing, or chewing.
- An oral scorching sensation.
- Throat feels parched.
- Lips with cracks.
- A rough, dry tongue.
- Mouth ulcers.
- Infection of the mouth.
- Poor breath.
Your medical history will be examined, and your dentist or doctor will enquire about any drugs you are on. Also, he or she could advise blood testing or a saliva production test. Your healthcare professional can suggest the best course of action based on the root of your dry mouth. A doctor or dentist may suggest changing drugs, altering doses, or prescribing a saliva substitute, for instance, if the medication is producing dry mouth. You may also take care of yourself by drinking lots of water, sucking on sugarless gum, abstaining from alcohol and cigarettes, and other self-care practices to aid with dry mouth. Maintaining the health of your mouth will need both at-home oral hygiene and routine dental exams.
You may get rid of the signs of dry mouth by:
- Often sipping water or sugar-free beverages.
- Consuming water or a beverage without sugar while eating. Chewing and swallowing will be simpler as a result. Moreover, it could enhance food flavour.
- Avoiding caffeinated beverages including coffee, tea, and certain sodas. Caffeine can cause mouth dryness.
- To increase saliva production, chew sugar-free gum or suck on hard candies with citrus, cinnamon, or mint flavours.
- Certain sugar-free sweets and chewing gum include xylitol, which may guard against cavities.
- Avoiding meals that are too salty or spicy since they can make a dry mouth hurt.
- Avoiding alcohol and smoke. They make the mouth dry. If you currently smoke, you should think about stopping.
Saliva is a natural mouth lubricant and mouthwash that also aids in food digestion. Saliva also aids in the prevention of illness by controlling oral bacterial and fungal growth. Your mouth becomes dry and unpleasant when you do not produce enough saliva.
Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, results from insufficient saliva production (spit). Healthy mouths require saliva. Salivary gland dysfunction can cause tooth decay. A scratchy throat, irritation, and difficulty swallowing are all signs of dry mouth.
Dry mouth-causing conditions that affect the salivary glands, including Sjögren’s syndrome, are often lifelong. Everyone occasionally has dry mouth. If you frequently feel like your mouth is dry, it might be time to get help.
Soft natural foods like soups, canned fruits, soft cooked/blended veggies like carrots or celery, mashed potatoes, soft-cooked pasta, oats, ice cream, pudding, and popsicles are other examples of soft meals that are beneficial for those with dry mouth.