Dry mouth or xerostomia makes the insides of your mouth painful and dry. The dryness can be felt up to the throat. It is actually a very uncomfortable feeling. This is caused by the lower production of saliva which is the natural lubricant of the mouth. Cracking of lips, tender gums and mouth infections are the common disease accompanied by this abnormal condition. You will also find it hard to speak and masticate food if you are suffering from this condition. Dry mouth affects 10% of the world population in their 30’s which are mostly women and 25% of older adults.
Xerostomia is the medical term for dry mouth, in layman’s term. It can be mild or severe. Dry mouth is a symptom, not the disease; so that means there is an underlying issue which has caused the dry mouth. Xerostomia is caused by many factors from diseases to drug use. Analyzing your lifestyle can determine the root of this condition. Now, if you get dry mouth once in a while due to something you ate or because you are under stress, that is not xerostomia. Xerostomia is something that you may have most of the time.
Saliva has a lot of benefits to give to you. It moisturizes the mouth. It contains neutralizing agents to counteract the acidity of the reflux into the mouth. It helps to prevent infections in the mouth. It also enhances the tongue’s ability to taste. It aids in digesting food. It helps prevent cavities. So saliva is the most important component to prevent dry mouth or xerostomia. One of the symptoms that patients report from this is burning sensation of the tongue.
There are several things that can cause dry mouth. Some are caused by drugs, others are complications of other health problems. To know more about dry mouth, here are the most common things that can trigger it:
Keeping your mouth hydrated is a one of the keys to good oral health and preventing xerstomia. Keep an eye on your medicines and emotions and you will keep your mouth healthy and well lubricated.
By: Ladan Zinati