Fortunately, there are many effective treatments for dry mouth. Sugar-free candy or gum stimulates saliva flow, and moisture can be replaced by using artificial saliva and oral rinses. Among them are antihistamines, decongestants, painkillers, high blood pressure medications, muscle relaxants, drugs for urinary incontinence, Parkinson’s disease medications, antidepressants and many others. Without the cleansing effects of saliva, tooth decay and other oral health problems become more common. Patients using oral inhalers for asthma often develop oral candidiasis, an oral fungal infection, and are encouraged to rinse their mouths with water after using the inhaler.
Causes of Dry Mouth
Common Causes of Dry Mouth :
Dry mouth can be a result of nerve damage to the head and neck area from an injury or surgery.
Conditions that lead to dehydration, such as fever, excessive sweating, vomiting, diarrhea, blood loss, and burns can cause dry mouth.
Surgical removal of the salivary glands.
Damage to the salivary glands, the glands that produce saliva, for example, from radiation to the head and neck and chemotherapy treatments for cancer , can reduce the amount of saliva produced.
Dry mouth can be a side effect of medical conditions, including Sjögren’s syndrome, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease , diabetes, anemia , cystic fibrosis , rheumatoid arthritis , hypertension, Parkinson’s disease, stroke , and mumps .
Smoking or chewing tobacco can affect saliva production and aggravate dry mouth. Continuously breathing with your mouth open can also contribute to the problem.
Symptoms of Dry Mouth
Some Symptoms of Dry Mouth :
A sticky, dry feeling in the mouth.
Saliva that seems thick, stringy.
Mouth sores .
Bad breath .
Difficulty speaking, swallowing.
Cracked lips .
An altered sense of taste.
Trouble chewing, swallowing, tasting, or speaking.
A dry feeling in the throat.
Treatment of Dry Mouth
Individuals who lack iron, zinc, folic acid or B vitamins should take appropriate supplements. Some may require injections.
Doctors may prescribe alternative medications.
Endocrinologists or primary care providers treat disorders such as hypothyroidism or diabetes.
Elimination of allergens can relieve BMS symptoms; for example, removal of certain dental materials, changing diet or avoiding flavorings.
Doctors may prescribe antifungal creams, gels or tablets. Dentures are removed and disinfected.
Imprinted or phantom pain may be treated with medication.
Stomach acid that enters the mouth from the upper gastrointestinal tract can cause irritation and pain. Patients are treated by a gastroenterologist.
If symptoms are associated with anxiety or depression, health care providers may recommend antidepressants, psychiatric therapy or both.
Dentures that irritate the mouth, should be adjusted or replaced with dentures of a different material. Patients must practice proper care and cleaning of dentures and avoid excessive toothbrushing or rinsing with mouthwash.