Dry mouth comes about from a decreased volume of saliva in your mouth. Your salivary glands don’t produce enough saliva that’s required to keep your mouth wet. Also called xerostomia, dry mouth can make speaking and swallowing problematic. This may eventually result in malnutrition.
Saliva is required to moisten and cleanse your mouth. It is required in food digestion. Still, bacteria and fungi in the mouth are controlled by saliva. This ensures you are protected from infections.
Anxiety, as well as permanent throat and mouth disorders, can be brought about by severe dry mouth and salivary gland dysfunction. Your quality of life can be affected by these occurrences. Decreased saliva may eventually end up affecting your general health if it isn’t addressed.
The treatment of dry mouth is dependent on its cause. Various causes can result in dry mouth. Your salivary glands may not produce enough saliva due to various reasons. Here are the most common causes of dry mouth:
Dry mouth is a side effect of many medications. This includes over-the-counter drugs. Drugs used in the treatment of high blood pressure, depression, and anxiety can result in this problem. Pain medications, antihistamines, muscle relaxants, and decongestants may also cause dry mouth.
Dry mouth is often experienced as most people get older. Contributing factors that result in this condition include the intake of certain medications, inadequate nutrition, and the changes in how the body deals with medications. Long-term health problems can also contribute to dry mouth.
Dehydration is the most common cause of dry mouth. It’s easy to fix dry mouth caused by dehydration. Drinking more water can help you hydrate. Always make sure you have water near you all the time. This helps to deal with dry mouth. You are probably dehydrated if you stop sweating, have bad breath, or encounter sudden food cravings.
4. Cancer Therapy
Saliva’s nature can be altered by chemotherapy drugs. The amount of saliva produced by your body is also affected when you are on cancer medications. This may occur temporarily. Once you are done with treatment, salivary flow can return to normal.
Salivary glands can be damaged by radiation treatments meant for your head and neck. A severe decrease in saliva production can be witnessed after radiation treatments. This decrease can either be temporary or permanent. This depends on the area of treatment and the radiation dose.
5. Other Health Conditions
Health conditions such as stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, or thrush/yeast infection in your mouth can lead to dry mouth. Autoimmune diseases like HIV/AIDS and Sjogren’s syndrome can also lead to a decrease in the amount of saliva produced.
Dry mouth can be caused by breathing through your mouth or snoring. If you experience dry mouth in the morning, it may be as a result of your sleeping habits. It’s a clinical sign of sleep apnea. A sleep specialist can help you get your snoring under control during such times.
7. Alcohol And Tobacco Use
Your dry mouth symptoms can be increased through the use of alcohol and/or tobacco. Your saliva glands may have a hard time producing saliva when you chew or smoke tobacco. Using tobacco and alcohol isn’t the best of habits, anyway. You should try to quit smoking and drinking alcohol to help with your dry mouth. You can seek the help of an addiction specialist if you find it hard to quit.
8. Recreational Drug Use
Severe dry mouth can be caused by methamphetamine. A condition referred to as “meth mouth” can be caused by using this drug. This ends up damaging your teeth. Dry mouth is also caused by marijuana.
9. Nerve Damage
Nerve damage can be caused by injury or surgery. When this damage happens in your neck or head area, you risk experiencing dry mouth.
10. Sinus Problems
Individuals with a deviated septum or nasal polyps have trouble breathing through the nose. You’ll have to breathe through your mouth. You may not realize that you have sinus problems. You should see a doctor in case you have trouble breathing out of your nose. It may be due to a structural issue.
Dry mouth can be quite uncomfortable. Even doing simple things such as speaking, breathing, and swallowing may be a problem. Dry mouth is caused by a decrease in the production of saliva. You need to avoid lifestyles that cause dry mouth. Seek help from specialists in case this condition persists.