Dry Mouth or XerostomiaDry mouth is the feeling that there is not enough saliva in the mouth. Dentists refer to this symptom as Xerostomia. Occasionally, everyone has a dry mouth if they are nervous, upset or stressed. But if you have a dry mouth all or most of the time, it can be uncomfortable and can cause difficulties in tasting, chewing, swallowing, and speaking. It increases your chance of developing cavities and other infections.
What are the symptoms of Dry Mouth?
What causes dry mouth?
People get dry mouth when the glands in the mouth that make saliva are not working properly to keep your mouth wet.
- Side effects of more than 400 medicines can cause the salivary glands to make less saliva.
- Diseases such as Sjögren's syndrome, HIV/AIDS, and diabetes can all cause dry mouth.
- Radiation therapy during cancer treatment can damage the salivary glands.
- Chemotherapy drugs used to treat cancer can make saliva thicker, causing the mouth to feel dry.
- Injury to the head or neck can damage the nerves that tell salivary glands to make saliva.
- Sip water frequently or suck on ice chips
- Use artificial saliva
- Avoid drinks with caffeine, such as coffee, tea, and some sodas
- Chew sugarless gum or suck on sugarless hard candy to stimulate saliva flow
- Don't use tobacco or alcohol
- Spicy or salty foods may be irritating
- Brush and floss daily
- Dr. Biggs may also suggest you use a prescription-strength fluoride gel to help prevent dental decay