If you have ever gone through a dry mouth spell, you know how uncomfortable it is. Known as Xerostomia in medical terms, a dry mouth condition is not very uncommon in people these days.
Causes of dry mouth:
Dry mouth can take place when the glands in your mouth do not make saliva properly.
Some of the other causes are-
- Nerve damage: A dry mouth can be the result of an injury to the neck or head that might have caused nerve damage.
- Side effects of some diseases: Medical conditions like Alzheimer’s, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, anaemia, mumps, stroke, cystic fibrosis etc. can be the reasons behind a dry mouth.
- Medicines and treatments: Radiation treatments of the neck or head may lead to the experiencing of a dry mouth, as can certain prescription medications like drugs used to treat diarrhoea, epilepsy, acne and obesity.
- Improper lifestyle: Breathing with your mouth open dries up your mouth faster. Chewing tobacco and smoking hampers the natural production of saliva in your mouth.
- Dehydration: Health conditions such as excessive sweating, fever, diarrhoea, burns, vomiting and blood loss, that lead to dehydration can also lead to a dry mouth.
If you are experiencing a dry mouth, the common symptoms would be clearly visible in your body, including:
- Frequent thirst (duh!)
- Bad breath
- A dry, sticky feeling in your mouth
- A dry, raw and red tongue
- A tingling or burning sensation on the tongue and in the mouth
- Dry nasal passage and hoarseness of voice
- Sore throat
Measures to be taken to cure dry mouth:
- Limit your caffeine intake: Caffeine absorbs the saliva in your mouth and makes it drier.
- Chew on sugar-free gum: Sucking on sugar-free hard candies or chewing sugar-free gum stimulates your salivary glands and increases the flow of saliva in your mouth.
- Avoid sugary and acidic food and drinks: Acidic and sugary food need more saliva to digest, while drinks that fall in this category might refresh and hydrate you temporarily, but they leave your mouth feeling drier after some time.
- Avoid mouthwashes that contain alcohol : Alcohol may dry out your mouth and since you generally use a mouthwash at the end of the day, before going to bed, it is most likely to have an effect on your mouth the whole night, thereby making an alcohol based mouthwash a terrible bane to your efforts towards treating a dry mouth.
- Try a fluoride rinse. This is a method that doctors recommend to get rid of the problem of a dry mouth.
Learn to breathe through your nose instead of your mouth.
- Use an effective humidifier in your room if you have the air conditioner turned on. Do this especially in your bedroom at night.
- Stay away from tobacco and cigarettes.
- Avoid using decongestants and antihistamines that are available over the counter at your nearest pharmacy.
- Keep a bottle of water with you, handy at all times. Keep sipping it throughout the day and keep your mouth hydrated.
- Eat moist, soft food that is either cold or at room temperature. Hot foods dry out your mouth by absorbing the saliva in your mouth.
Take care, people!