Dry Mouth

Dry mouth, medically referred to as xerostomia, is not a medical problem in itself but rather a symptom that can occur for a number of different reasons that are related to misbalance in the production of saliva.

Saliva is a bodily fluid that ensures sufficient moisture in the mouth and helps the digestive system process food. Moreover, it helps to keep the teeth and oral cavity healthy by neutralizing acids that could corrode the enamel and removing plaque and food particles that could cause decay. Xerostomia also results in sufferers being more at risk of yeast infections in the mouth than people with healthy salivation.

As mentioned before, dry mouth is classified as a symptom itself, but it is usually noticed to occur with a number of other problems, such as constant sensation of thirst, sore tissues in the mouth as well as lips, difficult swallowing, bad breath and increased chance of developing decay, gum diseases and yeast infections in the oral cavity.

There are many factors that may cause xerostomia, including:

  • certain forms of medication, such as antidepressants, painkillers, cold and anti-allergy remedies;
  • some illnesses and medical conditions, such as anaemia, arthritis, diabetes, mumps, salivary gland disease, increased blood pressure and HIV;
  • dehydration, which is severe loss of bodily fluids and can occur due to excessive sweating, vomiting, blood loss or insufficient amount of water in the body;
  • radiotherapy, particularly head and neck;
  • removal of salivary glands.

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