There has been a rise in the number of health problems that we humans face in the past few decades. While most of us focus on chronic health issues like cancer, diabetes, BP issues, etc. there are plenty of other health issues that aren’t given the necessary care and attention. Even the soberest health problems require recognition and diagnosis, or else these very sober health issues have all the potential to convert into serious ailments. So, take a moment and think if there is any health problem that you have been ignoring for a while now. Okay, have you ever wondered why you wake up to a dry mouth every single morning? Isn’t this strange and a sign of some health problem maybe regarding oral health?
But let us tell you that if you are someone who is suffering from a dry and a very cottony-feeling in your mouth, then you are certainly not alone! Records say that many adults usually suffer from the problem of dry mouth and if proper attention and care are given, one can restore their mouth’s moisture and kick the problem of dry mouth to its end. So let’s read everything that has to be known about the dry mouth condition and what can be done to get rid of the same.
What exactly is dry mouth?
This condition is a result of the decreasing volume of saliva in one’s mouth. This dry mouth condition is also known as xerostomia. This condition often makes a person find it difficult to eat, digest food, and speak normally — this could also lead to malnutrition problems. If there is a condition of extreme dry mouth and it is coupled with salivary gland dysfunction then it has all the potential to produce anxiety problems in a person. This condition also exposes a person to the risk of tooth decay. Also one needs to understand that it is the saliva that protects the teeth from all kinds of assets that are found in drinks and food, and without the protection from saliva, even our enamel is vulnerable to erosion. There is nothing to panic about here as at least 10% of all people around you, women more than men are known to be affected by dry mouth. The disorder in producing enough saliva usually affects people who are elderly and also those who are taking medications frequently.
What causes dry mouth?
The problem of feeling a dry mouth is more than just the feeling of thirst. Dry mouth usually occurs when your mouth is producing very little saliva or no saliva at all. And whatever saliva is produced in your mouth it tends to be very stringy and thick. It is the saliva that helps us to taste drinks and foods and also helps in digestion of the same. It is the saliva that helps flush out food particles away from the teeth in our mouth and also prevents any problem of tooth decay.
In most cases, dry mouth is usually an occurrence as a side-effect of certain medication that has caused a decrease in saliva production, for example, antidepressants, high blood pressure medications, anti-inflammatories, steroids, and many more. According to studies, there are nearly 400 medications that are commonly used and have the potential of causing the problem of dry mouth. Sometimes dry mouth goes away on its own. Some other causes of dry mouth include radiation treatments which help in treating cancer tumors of the neck and head, dehydration, diseases about the salivary gland, diabetes, chewing tobacco, smoking, hormonal imbalance, mouth breathing, hypothyroidism, eating disorders, etc.
Even if there is shortness of breath, it can cause dry mouth. Dry mouth often occurs during pregnancy or in the face of breastfeeding because of dehydration and the hormonal changes is even if there is shortness of breath, it can cause dry mouth. Dry mouth often occurs during pregnancy or in the face of breastfeeding because of dehydration and the hormonal changes which are most of the time accompanied by nausea as well.
Signs and symptoms of dry mouth
People who are complaining of dry mouth problems may exhibit all of the following or some of the below-mentioned symptoms:
- Dry feeling in the throat, or sore throat
- Dry feeling in the mouth
- Frequent thirst
- Difficulty while chewing, swallowing, and speaking
- Increased desire to drink liquids to better the process of swallowing
- Cracked or chapped lips
- Dry eyes
- Ulcers, mouth sores
- Bad breath
- Dizziness, headaches
- Persistent cough
- Pale gums
Some home remedies to help tackle the problem of dry mouth
- Drink water
Oftentimes you will experience dry mouth if you are dehydrated, that is if you haven’t drunk enough fluids. However, dehydration cannot always be the reason behind a dry mouth. Always remember that just by sipping water you can still help your tongue and teeth remain clean and free from any harmful bacteria until the saliva production in your mouth returns to normal.
- Chewed gums that are sugar-free
If you are not a fan of candies chewing gums that I sugar-free is a better option. American Dental Association explains that chewing helps in stimulating the flow of saliva in your mouth.
- Suck candies which are sugar-free
Sucking on men’s or candies also helps in stimulating salivary flow and this will help in relieving dry mouth symptoms on a temporary note. It’s very important to choose products that are sugar-free because sugar always contributes to tooth decay.
- Learn to breathe through your nose only
If you are someone who tends to breathe more through your mouth then it is very evident that you will dry out your mouth. So to avoid that and making an oral condition worse, always practice breathing with the help of your nose. If you’re not able to breathe in this manner because of some kind of allergy or congestion then it is time for you to consult a doctor. Consulting a doctor on time will help in treating dry mouth soon.
- Using humidifier
Breathing in dry air will always contribute to the problem of dry mouth. If you make use of a humidifier to add more moisture in your room then breathing this treated air will help cut down the dryness in your mouth and also helps you sleep better.
- Over-the-counter available products
You can always find rinses, sprays, and toothpaste that are specially formulated to help keep the mouth moisturized. But remember to always consult your doctor and then resort to using these products.
- Get your vitamins right
The nutrition and dietetics Academy says that it is the vitamin C that helps in repairing tissue damage as well as oral damage which is caused by extensive dryness in the mouth. Also, vitamin B is what helps fight bacteria and improve the immunity of the body. Always ask your doctor before you begin taking any vitamin supplements.
You see, there is no possible way of preventing dry mouth. It is very vital to detect and diagnose dry mouth conditions as early as possible to avoid any devastating consequences on the dental as well as the overall health of our body. Make it a habit to eat right, eat healthily, drink lots of water, and make all the right choices when it comes to lifestyle — as these are the only ways through which you can steer clear from ailments.