Advice about how to prevent and cure xerostomia
It is quite likely that you have never heard of xerostomia, but what if I tell you that it is a disorder that affects our oral health and that its main symptom is a reduction in the production of saliva, which in turn causes a permanent feeling of dryness in the mouth.
It is true that we have all experienced the sensation of having a dry mouth at some time or other. This is especially so when we are nervous, or after playing sport or on days when we have drunk very little water. But all those cases are sporadic; the problem arises when the sensation of dry mouth is ongoing, and apart from provoking a very uncomfortable feeling, it can also cause numerous problems.
The name is quite complex, but we will now explain what this disorder is about so that you will be able to identify it.
What is xerostomia and why does it occur?
Xerostomia or dry mouth is caused by a malfunction of the salivary glands.. It is easy to detect as it is normally accompanied by the onset of a sensation of viscosity in the mouth or you might start to notice that your saliva is getting thicker or becoming stringier.
Moreover, a sore throat added to a feeling of dryness might also be symptom of xerostomia. Therefore, if you notice that your saliva is starting to become somewhat unusual, you should contact a specialist to clarify any doubts you may have.
What causes xerostomia?
Now that we know what xerostomia is and how we can detect it, we will explain the main causes of this disorder and how it affects our oral health.
Some medicines can cause dry mouth syndrome. Therefore, it is very important for you to be aware that antidepressants, blood pressure medicines, anti-inflammatories, asthma drugs, antihistamines, muscle relaxants and other medicines can cause xerostomia to appear.
Bad habits also affect oral health. The regular consumption of alcohol and smoking can cause serious diseases. In this case, smoking causes a reduction in salivation, and this can provoke a dryness in the mouth.
Disorders of the salivary glands, especially due to the obstruction of the ducts that release saliva, also known as sialolithiasis.
Some diseases such as arthritis, diabetes or depression can trigger the appearance of this oral health disorder.
The absence of teeth can also cause xerostomia.
What are the most common symptoms of xerostomia?
Correct! the main symptom of xerostomia is a feeling of dryness in the mouth, but there are other symptoms that we should take into consideration:
· Saliva that has a viscous texture.
· Alterations in the taste of foods.
· Chewing problems.
· A sensation of burning and pain on the tongue.
· Cracks on the edges of your lips.
· Difficulty when speaking.
· Tooth decay.
· Periodontal disease.
What can we do to solve this problem?
Like with any other disease, the first thing that we should do is to see a specialist to get a proper diagnosis and receive the best treatment.
Sometimes, the solution can be relatively simple and drinking more water, controlling our diet, avoiding carbonated drinks with sugar, caffeine or cutting back on habits such as smoking is enough. But in most cases, the problem needs to be treated with a specific medical prescription.
Moreover, we must be especially careful with our oral hygiene and use products that have been specially designed to treat this disease.
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