DRY MOUTH? HERE’S WHAT YOUR BODY MIGHT BE TELLING YOU!
XEROSTOMIA: A MORE FRIGHTENING NAME FOR DRY MOUTH
Dry mouth can affect anyone and is relatively common but for some it can be more than troublesome. This can be more common with old age but can also be the result of various types of medications. This can also be related to various medical conditions as a side effect or simply from dehydration.
Saliva is an essential body fluid for protection and preservation of the oral cavity and oral functions. It is produced by the three pairs of major salivary glands and hundreds of minor salivary glands. Its value is seldom appreciated until there is not enough.
Saliva is mostly water, but it also contains over 60 substances, which assist with:
- aid chewing, swallowing and talking
- protect the teeth against decay
- protect the mouth, teeth, and throat from infection by bacteria, yeasts, and viruses
- support and facilitate our sense of taste
- protect, lubricate and cleanse the oral mucosa
HOW YOU CAN AVOID DRY MOUTH
Dry mouth can also be an effect of a imbalance in pH of your saliva. This common malady can contribute to bad breath and increased chance of tooth decay. Avoiding dry foods and regularly sipping an unsweetened beverage are some preventative measures to keep your mouth moist .
Avoid frequent intake of acidic beverages (such as most carbonated and sports replenishment drinks). Drink water while eating to aid chewing and swallowing. Caffeine can increase the sensation of oral dryness; be aware that many soft drinks contain caffeine. Salivary secretion can be increased by chewing gum containing no sugar. Xylitol is a desirable sweetener present in some chewing gums and hard candies which has been shown to help prevent dental decay.
Sometimes dry mouth can cause increased chance of fungal infections, soar throat and hoarseness, problems swallowing or chewing food, or burning sensations in the mouth. Drinking water may alleviate the effects of dry mouth, but regular hydration is a more stable fix. Sugar-free gum can also alleviate dry mouth and is a healthy choice when choosing gum. Regular dental hygiene is also one way to improve chronic dry mouth, brushing and flossing daily can made a huge impact!