Xerostomia sounds like a strange word, and when it happens to your mouth it feels very strange as well. It is the medical term for a dry mouth due to a lack of saliva.
It can be caused by dehydration, stress and anxiety, the after effects of chemotherapy or radiation near the head and neck, excessive mouth breathing, and trauma to the salivary glands. Probably the most common cause of xersotomia, is medications. There are over 700 types of medications that can cause that pesky dry mouth, and when combined with other drugs can increase the effect.
The greatest symptom is obviously the feeling of your mouth being dry. You may also feel:
* That your lips are sticking to your teeth when you try to talk
*Burning feeling in your tongue
* Cracked lips
* Trouble swallowing, eating, or speaking
* Mouth sores.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SALIVA
Saliva does more than “wet your whistle.” It has amazing properties that can aid in digestion, protects teeth from decay, prevents infections from forming on teeth, gums, and the whole mouth. When saliva levels drop just below normal, insanity can ensue. Sometimes, it can be difficult to realize that you have xerostomia. It doesn’t always feel like a dessert in the mouth, but just a slight difference in feel in the mouth. That is the time when most of the damage can occur.
In order to keep xerostomia under control, there a many things you can do to help. The easiest cheapest way, is to increase your intake of water. Drinking more water can sometimes flush out a clogged saliva duct. There are specialized dry mouth toothpastes that can stimulate saliva flow. At Livery Dental, we offer several types of toothpastes that work very well and keeping xerostomia symptoms at bay. Make sure to eat foods low in sugar and drink liquids that are low in acid, decaffeinated, and carbonation. And as always visit our office regularily for cleanings and check ups.
Xerostomia can be troublesome, but with the right help you can prevent damage and annoyance.