A dry mouth is a medical condition in which the salivary glands in your mouth fail to segregate enough saliva to keep the mouth wet. A dry mouth is frequently due to the side effect of certain medicines, or aging issues can be a significant factor or a result of radiation therapy for cancer.
A dry mouth is not a serious thing. Things are there to help.
Symptoms of dry mouth
If the production of saliva is less, you may notice these signs and symptoms most of the time:
- Dryness or a feeling a sought of stickiness in your mouth
- Saliva that seems thick and stringy
- Bad breath
- Difficulty in chewing, speaking or swallowing
- Dry or sore throat
- Dry or grooved tongue
- A change in the sense of taste
Causes for dry mouth
The absence of sufficient saliva production by the salivary glands in your mouth results in a dry mouth.
The following factors could affect how well these glands function:
- Medications. Dry mouth is a common adverse effect of hundreds of drugs, many of which are over-the-counter
- Aging. As people age, many elderly persons have dry mouths.
- Chemotherapy may alter the type and quantity of saliva produced.
- Damaged nerves. A dry mouth might be a result of an injury or surgery that damages the nerves in your head and neck region
- Other health issues like autoimmune illnesses, diabetes, stroke, fungus in the mouth, Alzheimer’s disease, and other medical issues
Complications in dry mouth
Insufficient saliva can cause dry mouth, which can result in:
- Gum disease, teeth decay, and more plaque
- Oral sores
- Yeast infection in the mouth
- Cracked lips, sores, or split skin around your mouth’s corners
- Nutritional deficiencies brought on by difficulties swallowing and chewing
Treating a dry mouth
Depending on what is causing your dry mouth, you may need therapy.
Your doctor or dentist could:
- Drugs that induce dry mouth should be changed.
- Provide mouth moisturizer product recommendations. These could include artificial saliva, mouth moisturizers, or prescription or over-the-counter mouth rinses. Toothpaste made for dry mouth
Self-care when experiencing a dry mouth:
- Drink plenty of cold water; sip it frequently throughout the day, and keep a bottle by your bed at night
- Eat ice cubes or ice cream cones
- Drink cold, unsweetened beverages
- Chew on sugar-free candies or chew on sugar-free gum
- If your lips are also dry, apply lip balm
- Use mouthwash without alcohol and brush your teeth twice daily
Reviewed by – Dr. Priyanka, MBBS MD Microbiology
Page last reviewed: 16 JULY 2022