Getting Parched with a Dry Mouth

If you constantly feel like the inside of your dry mouth is like being on a hot, sizzling desert – it may be easy to dismiss this dry mouth condition as a normal occurrence. After all, you can always drink something to quench your thirst and moisten your dry mouth, right? However, a dry mouth and the resulting decrease in the production and presence of saliva may increase your risks of developing more serious dental problems in the future.

Also called Xerostomia, dry mouth can be extremely uncomfortable for the person experiencing it. A dry mouth can also increase the risks of bacteria in the mouth, since saliva washes away food bits and other particles that may cause germs and bacteria to multiply. It is important to know what causes dry mouth conditions, since this leads to proper treatment of the dry mouth before it has a chance to turn into something more serious.

What Causes Dry Mouth?
There are a number of factors that cause dry mouth; it is best to know which dry mouth cause applies to you, so you will know how to go about with the treatment of this condition.

Medication Side Effects – If a specific medication causes dry mouth on a patient, his or her physician may make adjustments on the medication to ease the dry mouth symptoms. In cases when the medication cannot be changed, dosage adjustments can be made accordingly instead.

Medical Treatment Side Effects – Dry mouth and a decrease in the production of saliva can also result from specific medical treatments. Radiation and chemotherapy may cause the salivary glands to produce a significantly decreased amount of saliva, resulting to a dry mouth.

Medical Condition Side Effects – A person can have dry mouth and decreased saliva production when suffering from specific medical conditions. A few of the illnesses that are known to cause dry mouth include anemia, diabetes, hypertension, cystic fibrosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, mumps and rheumatoid arthritis.

Nerve Damage – Dry mouth can be experienced by patients who have suffered from some nerve damage resulting from surgery or injury to the head, or to the neck area.

How to Deal with a Dry Mouth
A severe dry mouth cause should be addressed accordingly by your doctor or dentist. Mild dry mouth symptoms can be alleviated by doing the following:

Keep yourself properly hydrated by drinking a lot of water.
Chew on sugar-free gum, or suck on sugar-free candies.
Breathe through your nose, and not through your mouth, to avoid having a dry mouth.
Use a room humidifier or vaporizer to add moisture to the air you breathe.