Dry mouth is known as xerostomia in dentistry. Dry mouth occurs as a result of the salivary glands’ lack of salivation functions.
The Reasons of Dry Mouth are as follows:
Dry mouth may arise as an adverse effect of some medications. Averagely, over 500 types of medication cause dry mouth.
Salivary gland diseases and resection of salivary glands cause dry mouth.
The decrease of saliva by age results in dry mouth.
Dry mouth is seen in some systemic diseases (diabetes, hormonal disorders, Sjogren’s syndrome, neurological disorders).
Radiotherapy, especially head and neck radiotherapy, results in dry mouth by causing damage to the salivary glands.
Consumption of alcohol and caffeine causes dry mouth.
When Dry Mouth Appears,
Eating difficulties especially for dry foods,
Burning, abnormal feeling, pain in tongue,
Frequent need for things that will keep the mouth wet,
Speaking and swallowing difficulties,
Drying and cracking at the edges of the lip,
A decrease in sense of taste and abnormal taste,
Difficulties in the use of prosthesis, and
Bad breath occur.
Saliva is an important defensive mechanism for mouth. So, the occurrence of dry mouth as a result of the decrease in saliva results in various problems.
Since the flushing function of the saliva will decrease along with the saliva decrease during dry mouth, the accumulation of bacterial plaque and food residues will facilitate. Therefore, gingival diseases and tooth decays increase.
Saliva contains oxygen. As a result of the decrease in saliva, the amount of oxygen in the mouth decreases, too. The decrease of oxygen causes the anaerobic bacteria that live in anaerobic environment. Anaerobic bacteria results in gingival diseases, tooth decays, and bad breath.
As a result of the decrease of saliva, the minerals within the body of the saliva that prevent the tooth decays will also go down, which will end up with an increase in tooth decays.
Dry Mouth Treatment
If the dry mouth occurs as an adverse effect of a medication, the medication can be replaced.
Besides, drinking water sip by sip to keep the mouth wet and increasing the consumption of juicy food,
Chewing sugar-free gums,
Avoiding alcohol, caffeine, smoking, and sugar-containing food,
Taking vitamin C,
Avoiding the oral care products that contain alcohol and sodium lauryl sulphate,
Using artificial saliva, if necessary,
And increasing the humidity of the living environment may be useful.
Saliva is an important defensive mechanism for the mouth. Since the salivation decreases in dry mouth, it should not be ignored.