Dry Mouth ( xerostomia ) : Causes, Diagnosis, Symptoms, Treatment, Progn...
Dry Mouth ( Xerostomia )
Dry mouth, or xerostomia is a condition in which your mouth is unusually dry. Most often, dry mouth is the result of a decrease in saliva produced by the glands in your mouth (salivary glands), and it's frequently a side effect of medication.
Saliva is the clear, watery solution which is present in the mouth at all times, and its function is to lubricate the mouth so that we can speak and taste our food. It also aids in preventing tooth decay as it washes away food and plaque from the surface of the teeth.
People who suffer from dry mouth are at increased risk of tooth decay, gum disease and a range of other illnesses affecting the soft tissues of the mouth. The diet may also be severely affected because food cannot be tasted as it normally would.
This condition is very common and is often seen as a side effect of many types of medication. It is more common in older people (mostly because this group tend to take several medications) and in persons who breathe through their mouths (mouthbreathing). Dehydration, radiotherapy involving the
salivary glands, and several diseases can cause hyposalivation or a change in saliva consistency and hence a complaint of xerostomia. Sometimes there is no identifiable cause, and there may be a psychogenic reason for the complaint.