Dry mouth, also known as Xerstomia, is a condition that is created due to reduction or absence of saliva flow. Dry mouth isn’t considered as a disease by itself, however, it may be a symptom of another medical disorder or a side-effect of certain medical treatment for example head and neck radiation or a side-effect of certain medication such as antihistamines, decongestants, diuretics and many others.
Some health conditions can cause dry mouth including Sjögren’s syndrome (a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease that affects salivary and tear gland), Anxiety disorders, Depression, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease and poorly controlled diabetes. In addition, dry mouth can be caused by some habits like mouth breathing, excessive alcohol or caffeine use and smoking.
Whereas saliva washes away food debris, dilutes and neutralizes acids produced by mouth bacteria and acts as a first line protection against microbial invasion, it can help reduce the risk of tooth decay. Hence, dry mouth can affect oral health. Reduction of saliva flow can increase risk of tooth decay and periodontal disease.
Sings of dry mouth may include:
- Constant sore throat
- Burning sensation
- Difficulty in eating, speaking and swelling
- Bad breath
- Extensive tooth decay
- More frequent periodontal disease
There are some ways to restore mouth moisture. For example:
- Sugar-free candy or gumespecially those containing Xylitol
- Suitable mouthwash like Vi-one Ha Li Ta mouthwash
- Artificial saliva