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Dry Mouth Symptoms and Causes

Saturday, October 9, 2021

 


The decrease in saliva produced at a normal level in a healthy person causes dry mouth. Dry mouth can be seen due to more than 500 types of drugs and radiation used in cancer treatment, or it can occur as a symptom of some diseases. Although it has become a common condition for people in daily life, it is of great importance to treat chronic dry mouth and identify the underlying cause.

What is Dry Mouth?

Dry mouth can be seen in case of low secretion of saliva, which has tasks such as keeping the mouth wet, preventing tooth decay, preventing intraoral infections, facilitating digestion, speaking and swallowing. Dry mouth, which is called "xerostomia" in medical language, can be caused by hundreds of drugs, radiation, psychological factors and some systemic disorders. In a healthy individual, the decrease in the saliva produced in 500 ml in 24 hours can cause speech and swallowing difficulties, and may negatively affect the person, as well as be a harbinger of some diseases. Although dry mouth is not defined as a disease on its own, it is a condition that should be treated and not ignored in order to prevent the diseases it may cause.

Causes of Dry Mouth

Medicines: Dry mouth can be seen as a side effect of more than 500 drugs. Some drugs that cause dry mouth by reducing the amount of saliva secreted can be listed as follows:

*Anti-anxiety medications

*Anticholinergics

*Anticonvulsants

*Antidepressants

*Antiemetics

*Antihypertensives

*Antiepileptics

*Antiparkinsonian drugs

*Diuretics

*Bronchodilators

* Chemotherapy drugs

* Muscle relaxants

*sedative drugs

Radiation

Radiation taken to the head and neck area can cause dry mouth by affecting the salivary glands. Depending on the degree of exposure of the salivary glands, which are very sensitive to radiation, the severity of dryness may vary.

Chronic and Systemic Diseases

Symptoms of some diseases include dry mouth. The diseases in which dry mouth can develop due to saliva production are as follows:

*Sjogren's syndrome

*Diabetes

*HIV and AIDS

*Eating disorders such as bulimia

*Anemia

* Thyroid diseases

*Cystic fibrosis

*Tuberculosis (tuberculosis)

* Parkinson's disease

*Systemic lupus erythematosus

*Stroke

*Mumps disease

* Joint inflammation

*Graft-versus-Host disease

*Bell's palsy

*Amyloidosis

*Chronic kidney failure syndrome

*Chronic fluid loss (dehydration)

*Sialolithiasis

Other Causes

Other factors that can cause dry mouth are as follows:

*Surgical removal of salivary glands

*Nerve damage in the head and neck region

*Diseases Causing Nasal Congestion

* Anatomical problems (nasal bone curvature, turbinate enlargement)

*To smoke

*mouth breathing

*Snore

*Dry air

*Excessive coffee or alcohol consumption

*Pregnancy

*Stress

*Spicy foods

Dry Mouth Symptoms

Long-term dry mouth may be accompanied by some symptoms. Common symptoms are as follows:

*frequent thirst

*Dry and red tongue

* Lip cracks

* Mouth sores in the form of aphthae

* Sticky feeling in the mouth

* Sore throat and pain

*Tingling sensation in the tongue

* Difficulty chewing, tasting and swallowing

* Speech problems

* hoarseness

* Bad breath

* Enlargement of salivary glands

* Increase in dental caries

* gingivitis

* Fungus formation in the mouth

*Difficulty using dentures

Diagnosis of Dry Mouth

Since dry mouth can occur due to many different reasons, it is very important to make an accurate diagnosis and create an appropriate treatment plan. Medications used, medical history and other diseases, if any, are questioned by the doctor during the examination and an oral examination is performed. Dryness in the mouth may not be enough to make a diagnosis. Blood tests, saliva production tests, and imaging of the salivary glands with methods such as sialography, ultrasonography, MRI, and CT may be necessary to detect the condition or condition causing dry mouth. Biopsy to be taken from the salivary glands is a method used in cases of diseases such as Sjögren's syndrome.

Dry Mouth Treatment

The methods used in the treatment of dry mouth may vary depending on the severity of the dryness and other underlying factors, if any. The things that people with dry mouth should pay attention to and treatment methods are listed below:

*In case of drug-induced dry mouth, a doctor should be consulted and the dose of the drug or the drug should be changed.

* Drink water frequently to facilitate swallowing.

*The amount of moisture in the mouth can be increased with mouthwash, gel and sprays.

* Dry mouth can be prevented with artificial saliva products.

*Flavored toothpaste and mouthwash should be avoided.

* Sugar-free gum or lozenges can be chewed.

* Creams rich in vitamin E can be used for dry lips.

* Spicy foods should be avoided and meals should not be consumed too hot.

* Attention should be paid to the humidity balance at home and at work, and dry air should be avoided.

* Alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine should not be consumed.

* Breathe through the nose instead of the mouth.

* Pilocarpine can be used in case of dry mouth due to Sjögren's syndrome.


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