All about dry mouth. @Walgreens

Dry-Mouth-SFWDry mouth happens when you do not have enough saliva or spit in your mouth.

Saliva is produced by hundreds of salivary glands that keep your mouth moist. Saliva is mostly made of water, but also contains enzymes that help break down food particles. Without saliva, we would even have difficulty swallowing food.

Dry Mouth affects oral health

Dry mouth can lead to tooth cavities since food is more likely get trapped in your teeth without enough saliva. When you have dry mouth, you are also at a greater risk of infections of the mouth, including the gums and tongue. Dry lips and bad breath are other common symptoms associated with dry mouth.

Dry mouth has several causes.

Dry mouth can happen for several different reasons—some are due to certain medicines and others can be caused by diseases.

    • Medications: Hundreds of different medicines can cause the salivary glands to make less saliva. This includes medicines for high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, allergies, acid reflux and Parkinson’s disease as well as chemotherapy. Over-the-counter cold and flu and sleep remedies can also lead to dry mouth. Older people are at a greater risk of dry mouth as a result of taking more medicines.
    • Diseases: Infections can cause dry mouth. Loss of fluid from your body or dehydration leads to dry mouth. A disease called Sjögren’s syndrome (pronounced SHOW-grins syndrome) causes dry mouth.
    • Other causes: Breathing through your mouth because of a stuffy nose or sleep apnea can cause dry mouth. Another cause of dry mouth is radiation treatment to the head or neck.

If your dry mouth is a side effect of medicine you are taking, your healthcare provider may change the dosage or prescribe a different medicine. Your pharmacist can tell you whether or not dry mouth is a common side effect of medicines you are taking.

Dry mouth can be treated.

Treatment for dry mouth depends on the cause and the severity of symptoms. Here’s some useful information for treating dry mouth:

  • If your dry mouth is a side effect of medicine you are taking, your healthcare provider may change the dosage or prescribe a different medicine. Your pharmacist can tell you whether or not dry mouth is a common side effect of medicines you are taking.
  • Saliva substitutes are available without a prescription. Xylitol-based products can provide relieve dry mouth symptoms by keeping your mouth wet.
  • Avoid mouthwashes that contain alcohol because they can dry out your mouth.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking more fluids. Avoid coffee since caffeine can dry out the mouth.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Consider using a humidifier, especially at night to help moisten the air while you sleep.
While occasional dry mouth may only be bothersome and resolve on its own, be sure and visit your health care provider and dentist if your symptoms persist or if you believe you have a mouth infection.

Author: Ted Hicks

Ted Hicks is a dad, husband & son that enjoys writing about the wonderful world of parenting, technology, product reviews, education and sports. There are very few topics that won't be addressed with contributions to LateNightParents.com. You can expect a witty exchange on the #LNPshow. Be prepared for an open and honest conversation – because that’s what you’re going to receive. LateNightParents.com is a resource site for parents looking for interesting blogs on various topics and articles. We provide our thoughts and giveaways for baby gear, electronics, sporting events & apparel. Follow us at @RealTedHicks / @LateNightParent or feel free to e-mail me at [email protected] Check us out at http://facebook.com/latenightparents.Are you ready for the #LNPshow? YOU sure?

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