Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, refers to a condition in which the mouth becomes dry due to a decrease in the saliva, as the salivary glands don't function properly. Certain factors such as medications, ageing, treatment for cancer, nerve damage, snoring, diabetes, and Parkinson's disease can affect the functioning of the salivary glands.
A dry mouth can lead to other problems - plaque, tooth decay, gum disease, mouth ulcers, fungal infection, coated tongue, sores or split skin at the corners of the mouth, cracked lips, and poor nutrition due to improper chewing and swallowing. So treatment should be started immediately.
* Dryness In the mouth or throat
* Bad Breath
* Difficulty in chewing, speaking, and swallowing
* A change in the sense of taste
* Frequent tooth decay
* Gum irritation and gum disease
Tips to avoid and manage Xerostomia
* Drink water and sugar-free drinks frequently to moisten the mouth.
* Chew sugar-free gum to stimulate the flow of saliva.
* Drink water during meals to help in chewing and swallowing.
* Avoid breathing through the mouth. Consult a doctor if you snore.
* Moisturize your lips to soothe dry or cracked areas.
* Avoid caffeine and alcohol. These products cause dryness and irritation. Avoid mouthwashes that contain alcohol.
* If you smoke or chew tobacco, stop, because tobacco products can dry the mouth.
*Avoid sugary foods and chocolates they increase the risk of tooth decay.
* Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and rinse your mouth before and after meals with lukewarm water with a pinch of salt in it.
* Use a fluoride toothpaste and floss your teeth daily.
* Consult a doctor at least once a year for a dental check-up and have the plaque removed to prevent tooth decay.