Having a dry mouth can make you feel really uncomfortable. This condition is known as Xerostomia and its sufferers feel a constant sensation of thirst or dryness due to the lack of saliva. This condition leads to uneasiness in basic activities like speaking, breathing, and swallowing.
So, what makes your mouth feel dry even after drinking water? What are the effects of this condition and how can you eliminate this condition?
A dry mouth can cause a parched feeling in your mouth. Some other symptoms include dry throat, bad breath, and cracked lips. People suffering from this condition may be accustomed to the sensation after a while. In some cases, dry mouth indicates other physical illnesses or health complications.
What is Xerostomia?
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It is a persistent lack of saliva production even after the intake of water or other fluids. When the dry mouth is caused by dehydration, proper saliva function can restore it within a day. It can be overcomed by drinking lots of fluids.
However, if the salivary gland does not function properly even after the intake of proper nutrition and fluids, then you may be suffering from Xerostomia.
In simple words, Xerostomia is caused due to medical side effects, dehydration, vitamin deficiencies, which ultimately leads to the malfunction of the salivary gland.
Causes of Dry Mouth
Dry mouth is one of the side effects of more than 400 types of medicines. Drugs for allergies, high blood pressure, mental health problems, overactive bladder can also trigger it. Here are some other factors that can cause dry mouth.
1. Physical Conditions
You can suffer from dry mouth because of physical conditions. Any traumatic damage to the salivary gland, medicine, diabetes, etc can result in dryness in the mouth. If you have cancer, chemotherapy drugs can also change the nature and amount of saliva production.
2. Autoimmune Disease
Dry mouth can be a result of an underlying medical issue. You may be suffering from an autoimmune disease, Sjogren’s syndrome. This disease attacks the glands in your body that produce tears and saliva.
In some cases, a dry mouth can be the result of drugs or contaminated water. The microbes in water can make your mouth feel dry even after drinking water. Drinking infected water can result in strange health conditions. Viruses and bacteria can infect your mouth or cause dehydration as well.
4. Habit of Snoring
Breathing through your mouth all night can leave your mouth feeling like a desert. Unless you have a bed partner, you might not be aware of the fact that you snore and it is giving you a dry mouth.
However, if you experience a dry mouth as soon as you wake up in the morning, you might be someone who snores. You can get medical help to get your alleged snoring under control.
5. Smoking Tobacco
Smoking decreases saliva production, causing dryness in the mouth. You can try quitting smoking by yourself or get help from an addiction specialist if it gets too challenging.
Dehydration is one of the most common causes of dry mouth. Luckily, it is also the easiest one to fix. You must drink more water throughout the day to feel better.
7. Sinus Problems
If you have a deviated septum or nasal polyps, it is hard for you to breathe through your nose. So, you depend on your mouth for breathing, which can lead to dry mouth. You may not realize you’re doing this, so consult a doctor if you have trouble breathing out of your nose.
8. Nerve Damage
If you are experiencing dry mouth soon after a head or neck injury, it may be due to nerve damage. Some nerves are responsible for the communication between your brain and the salivary glands. Any damage in these nerves can prevent the salivary glands from producing saliva.
Most elderly people suffer from a dry mouth due to inadequate nutrition and decreased salivary gland function. With time, they experience changes in their body’s ability to process medication.
10. Radiation Therapy
Any radiation therapy in your head or neck can decrease the amount of saliva produced by your salivary glands. It may be temporary or permanent depending on the dosage of radiation and the treatment area.
Effects of Dry Mouth
Decreased saliva production can lead to:
- Mouth sores
- Yeast infection in your mouth
- Tooth decay and gum disease
- Increased plaque
- Corners of your mouth develop sore and split skin
- Cracked lips
- Poor nutrition intake due to difficulty in chewing and swallowing
Symptoms of Dry Mouth
These are some signs and symptoms you must look for :
- Bad breath
- Thick and stringy saliva
- Sticky and dry feeling in your mouth
- Grooved or dry tongue
- Changed sense of taste
- Difficulty in chewing and swallowing food
- Difficulty in speaking
- Sore throat and hoarseness
- Problems wearing dentures
Home Remedies for Dry Mouth
Here are some remedies you can try at your house to make you feel better and prevent your mouth from getting dry:.
Keep Sipping Water Time and Again
Take a few sips of water frequently and avoid acidic beverages.
Avoid Caffeine, Alcohol, and Tobacco
Avoid smoking, alcohol, and any drink that contains caffeine, citric or phosphoric acid.
Ginger helps to stimulate salivary glands. Any product with ginger such as ginger sprays, teas can increase saliva production.
Use a Humidifier in your Room While you Sleep
Dry air indoors can cause dry mouth. Using a humidifier, especially in winter will moisten the air and allow you to find relief.
Chew Sugarless Gum or Sugarless Hard Candy
Chewing gum helps in the flow of saliva. But sugar can cause tooth decay, so you are recommended to use sugarless gums and candy.
Use Over-the-Counter Products
OTC (over-the-counter) products contain artificial forms of saliva or medicines designed to stimulate saliva production. There are toothpaste, rinses, sprays formulated to keep your oral cavity moisturized.
Vitamin C helps to repair the damage in oral tissues caused by excessive dryness. Vitamin B attacks the bugs of bacteria and improves your immune system. Consider taking a B-complex supplement with niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, and B6.
Dry mouth can make it difficult for you to carry out simple activities such as eating because there is no saliva to moisten and break down food. It can also cause problems while speaking too. This condition might not seem as serious at first, but it should not be ignored. Regular dental checkups are essential. People who suffer from chronic dry mouth are at high risk of getting dental cavities as they suffer from a lack of saliva to deter bacterial growth.
Table of Contents
- What is Xerostomia?
- Causes of Dry Mouth
- Effects of Dry Mouth
- Symptoms of Dry Mouth
- Home Remedies for Dry Mouth
- Final Words,