Dry Mouth, also known as Xerostomia, is a condition where your salivary glands do not function properly and don’t make sufficient amounts of saliva to keep your mouth wet. It is a condition that can leave people feeling uncomfortable, especially when eating.
Dry mouth manifests itself with the following symptoms:
- A dryness or stickiness in your mouth
- Bad breath
- Difficulty chewing, speaking or swallowing
- Dry or Sore throat
- Difficulties wearing dentures
Why is Saliva Important?
For most people see cases of dry mouth as an uncomfortable condition. However, it can be much more of a problem as saliva plays an important part in your body. Especially when it comes to eating. Saliva, or a lack of, can affect the taste of food.
Naturally, it helps keeps your mouth moisturised and prevents dehydration. This, in itself, aids your body with a number of important functions as it has several antimicrobial properties.
Saliva is important for oral health. It helps your mouth maintain a well-regulated pH balance. This contributes to the health and condition of your teeth. It does this by neutralising acids produced by bacteria, inhibiting bacterial growth and helps clear away food particles from meals. This helps you keep healthy, clean teeth and gums.
Also, your saliva can help and support digestion. This is due to enzymes present in saliva and helps breaks down food.
It is also not uncommon for people who have dry mouth to have difficulties speaking.
What Causes Dry Mouth?
Dry mouth is caused by salivary glands not functioning properly.
The primary cause of dry mouth is due to a side effect of medications. From everyday antihistamines and decongestants to blood pressure and depression medication, both over-the-counter and prescription medication can cause your salivary glands to stop functioning properly.
Chemotherapy drugs and medication can also change the nature of your saliva glands. Radiation treatments delivered to your head and neck have been known to cause dry mouth.
Dry mouth can be a symptom of another condition or illness. Diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Sjogren's Syndrome of HIV can cause your salivary glands to not function properly. People who suffer from diabetes or have had a yeast infection in the mouth have also known to experience dry mouth.
How to Treat Dry Mouth?
There are a number of ways to treat dry mouth. If you or your doctor believe your current course of medication is the cause of your dry mouth, switching to a different medication can be a solution. However, this should be done with the advice of a doctor.
There is a wide range of prescription and over-the-counter oral care products that are specially formulated to help you with your dry mouth. From mouth rinses to artificial moisturisers, there a number of products designed to lubricate your mouth and address your dry mouth.
At Chemist Direct, we’re proud to work with Biotene and their collection of dry mouth products. The specialist healthcare brand has carved out a well-earned reputation for its dedicated products that are made for dry mouth. Check them out today!