Symptopms of Clinicaly Diagnosed Dry Mouth And Throat
Dry mouth, known medically as “xerostomia”, is a condition wherein a person consistently does not have enough saliva to keep his or her mouth and throat moist. Though few people realise it, dry mouth is more than merely uncomfortable; it can increase the risk of dental cavities as saliva is the body’s primary defence against food particles and plaque. If you regularly experience:
- A sticky, dry feeling in your mouth or throat
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing, tasting or speaking
- A burning sensation in the mouth
- A dry, rough tongue
- Cracked lips
- Irritated gums
- Tooth decay despite good oral hygiene
- Mouth sores
- Bad breath
…Then it is likely that you are suffering from dry mouth.
What Causes Dry Mouth or Dry Throat?
Dry mouth can have various causes, including certain medications (sleep aids and antihistamines are common offenders), drug use, nervousness, stress, ageing, cancer therapy (radiation/chemotherapy), autoimmune disorders like Sjorgren’s syndrome, and smoking. If you believe you have dry mouth, you should consult with your health care provider in order to isolate the cause. If medication is causing the dryness he or she may be able to prescribe something else, and if there is an issue with your salivary glands, there are medications available to help stimulate saliva production. Additionally, you may be given a solution which emulates saliva so that you can moisten your mouth throughout the day while also remineralising your teeth,
Additional steps for managing and preventing dry mouth include:
- Sipping water or sugarless drinks throughout the day and during meals (be sure to swish your mouth out vigorously after consuming food)
- Avoiding drinks with caffeine, e.g. coffee, tea, and sodas
- Using oral care products (recommended by your dentist) that will help to moisturise your mouth
- Chewing sugarless gum or sucking on sugarless hard candy to stimulate saliva flow (strong, sharp flavours like citrus, cinnamon or mint are particularly helpful)
- Avoiding tobacco or alcohol
- Making sure not to consume too many spicy, sugary, acidic, or salty foods
- Using a humidifier at night
The risk of dental decay from dry mouth can also be somewhat mitigated by practising excellent oral hygiene; brush at least twice a day (ideally after every meal), and floss or use an interdental cleaner once a day to remove hard-to-reach food debris. Use a fluoride-containing mouthwash once per day to help protect your teeth from decay.