People get dry mouth when the glands in the mouth that make saliva are not working correctly. If you think you have a Dry mouth, see a dentist in Ludhiana to find out why your mouth is dry.
Importance of Salivary Glands
Salivary glands produce saliva, which is essential due to the following:
- Saliva prevents tooth decay by neutralising acids produced by bacteria, bacterial growth and washing away any food particles stuck to the teeth.
- It improves your ability to taste. It makes it easier to chew and swallow.
- Saliva also aids in digestion.
Cause of Dry mouth
Dry mouth can be caused by various reasons, some of which are:
Side effects of some medicines- More than 400 medicines can cause the salivary glands to make less saliva. For example, medicines for high blood pressure and depression often cause dry mouth.
Disease- Some diseases affect the salivary glands. Sjögren’s syndrome and diabetes can all cause dry mouth.
Radiation therapy- Radiation during cancer treatment can damage the salivary glands due to overexposure.
Chemotherapy- Drugs used to treat cancer can make saliva thicker, causing the mouth to feel dry.
Nerve damage– Head or neck injuries can damage the nerves that tell salivary glands to make saliva.
Symptoms of Dry mouth
If you’re not producing enough saliva, you may notice these signs and symptoms all or most of the time:
- Dryness or a feeling of stickiness in your mouth
- Saliva that seems thick and stringy
- Bad breath
- Difficulty chewing, speaking, and swallowing
- Dry or sore throat and hoarseness
- Dry or grooved tongue
- A changed sense of taste
- Problems wearing dentures
Complications due to Dry mouth
If you have a Dry mouth for quite some time or your mouth is not producing enough saliva for a continued period, you can face a few complications. The first step is to see a dentist in Bangalore for your Dry mouth issue. Dental health experts provide a wide range of dental health care:
Mouth Sores/Ulcers- Mouth ulcers are painful sores that appear in the mouth from time to time. They are usually harmless but can cause discomfort. They clear out by them within seven to ten days.
Yeast infection in your mouth- An infection in which fungus accumulates in the mouth. It causes white lesions on the lining of the cheeks and on the tongue.
Plaque, Tooth Decay, and Gum Disease- If you do not clean plaque daily in your mouth, it can harden and lead to a build-up. It can cause your teeth to decay and fall off and your gum to become infected.
Sores and split skin around your mouth– Lack of saliva and hydration can lead to dry skin around your mouth. Sometimes they also develop into sores. They are painful and can bleed as well.
Steps to relieve Dry mouth
To relieve your dry mouth, do the following:
- Chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free hard candies to stimulate saliva flow. For some people, xylitol, often found in sugar-free gum or sugar-free candies, may cause diarrhoea or cramps if consumed in large amounts.
- Limit your caffeine intake because caffeine can make your mouth drier.
- Don’t use mouthwashes that contain alcohol because they can be drying.
- Stop all tobacco use if you smoke or chew tobacco.
- Sip water regularly.
- Try over-the-counter saliva substitutes — You can use over-the-counter saliva substitute products to help you with saliva production. They are practical and readily available, and not very costly.
- Try a mouthwash designed for dry mouth — especially one that contains xylitol, such as Biotene Dry Mouth Oral Rinse or ACT Total Care Dry Mouth Mouthwash, which also offers protection against tooth decay.
- Add moisture to the air at night with a room humidifier.