Dry Mouth

June 14, 2023

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Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, is a condition in which the mouth feels unusually dry and lacks sufficient saliva production. Saliva is important for lubricating the mouth, aiding in the digestion of food, and preventing tooth decay by washing away food particles and bacteria.

Symptoms of dry mouth may include:

  • A sticky, dry feeling in the mouth
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, or speaking
  • A dry or sore throat
  • Hoarseness or a rough voice
  • Dry or cracked lips
  • Bad breath
  • Changes in taste or difficulty tasting food
  • Mouth sores or ulcers

Dry mouth can be caused by a variety of factors, including medications, medical conditions, dehydration, and lifestyle habits such as smoking or drinking alcohol. Some common medications that can cause dry mouth include antihistamines, antidepressants, blood pressure medications, and diuretics.

Treatment for dry mouth depends on the underlying cause. In some cases, simply drinking more water and staying hydrated can help alleviate symptoms. Other treatments may include switching to a different medication, treating an underlying medical condition, or using artificial saliva products or prescription medications that stimulate saliva production.

In addition to medical treatment, there are several lifestyle changes that can help manage dry mouth, such as avoiding tobacco and alcohol, using a humidifier at night, and practicing good oral hygiene habits such as brushing and flossing regularly and using mouthwash designed for dry mouth. It is important to speak with a healthcare professional if you are experiencing symptoms of dry mouth to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment.

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