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Dry Mouth Problems

05.10.2014 · Posted in Dental

A dry mouth problem is not as simple as feeling thirsty. Also called xerostomia, this condition commonly results when the mouth experiences a reduction in the production of saliva. A constantly dry mouth can lead to other dental problems if it is not treated properly and early, and may also be a symptom of other health conditions. Keeping the mouth properly hydrated by drinking water is just one of the ways to ensure that saliva production is not significantly reduced, which may in turn result to the accumulation of harmful bacteria in the mouth.


Aside from the perpetual feeling of being thirsty, a dry mouth problem can also lead to the development of mouth sores or mouth ulcers. The decrease in saliva production leads to a raw and painful tongue. Cracked lips are also common in people who suffer from dry mouth problems. Bad breath is another concern common in people who have decreased saliva production, since the food debris inside the mouth are not washed away by the saliva. A person who suffers from insufficient hydration inside the mouth will also find it difficult to speak, swallow, or chew properly, and a bad taste may often be experienced inside the mouth regardless of the food consumed.

Dry Mouth Causes

Stress – A person who is under stress may undergo hormonal changes, which can cause the mouth to become dry and feel parched all the time.

Dehydration – Not drinking enough liquids to keep the mouth hydrated (especially water) can lead to a very thirsty or parched mouth feeling.

Medications – Taking medications such as antihistamines, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antidepressants, and blood pressure medicine can lead to side effects that include dry mouth symptoms. Sedatives and muscle relaxants can also have side effects that include decreased saliva production.

Health Conditions – The parched feeling inside the mouth can also be caused by medical conditions such as diabetes, autoimmune disorders (systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren’s syndrome).

Smoking – Smoking cigarettes and using tobacco products dry up the saliva inside the mouth. Radiation and Chemotherapy – One of the side effects from chemotherapy and radiation treatments is the drying up of the mouth, which is the reason why patients who undergo these treatments often complain of painful mouth ulcers or mouth sores.

Nerve Damage – Nerve damage (from surgical procedures, accidents, or other injuries) to the head or neck areas can contribute to the decrease in the production of the salivary glands.

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