Dry mouth? You may have xerostomia


Do you feel your mouth dry often? You may have xerostomia and you don’t know it. Don’t worry, this problem is common so it has a solution. Therefore, in this article we invite you to know what it is, the causes that cause it and how you should treat xerostomia to avoid it in the future. Don’t wait any longer and learn more about this oral problem.

Xerostomia, what is it?

Xerostomia, or as it is commonly called dry mouth, consists of the decreased production of saliva from our glandular apparatus. It is important for our mouth to produce saliva because it helps us to avoid the imbalance of microorganisms in our mouth and in this way prevent cavities, bad breath or diseases in the gums. There are two types of xerostomia.

  • Reversible: This type is stimulated by the use of medicines, stress, public speaking or not making a good diet.
  • Irreversible: This is when there is glandular damage that does not allow enough saliva to be produced. This type occurs in people who are exposed to radiation treatments.

Causes of the xerostomia

The causes of the appearance of xerostomia are multiple:

  • Smoking tobacco: Smoking causes the production of saliva in our mouth to decrease.
  • Moments of stress, anxiety and even depression: Affecting the entire central nervous system and between them, the salivary glands.
  • Medication use: There are many medications on the market that cause dry mouth: antidepressants, antibiotics, muscle relaxants, etc.
  • Lack of teeth:  When we have absence of some teeth, it causes it is not stimulate our mouth and therefore does not produce as much saliva.
  • Diseases: Diseases such as diabetes, arthritis and psychiatric diseases, cause xerostomia.
  • Speak in public: Even if it doesn’t look like it, if we’re constantly talking in public we’re increasing the need for saliva production.
  • Constantly thirst
  • Pain: Another consequence of xerostomia is a burning or painful feeling in the tongue.

Symptoms of xerostomia

Although the main symptom of xerostomia is dry mouth, there are some more:

  1. Dryness, irritation and appearance of cracks in the soft tissues of the mouth, allowing the attack of microorganisms.
  2. Viscous and foamy texture.
  3. Alteration in the taste of meals.
  4. Stomatitis and gingivitis
  5. Problems with chewing food.
  6. Appearance of ulcers and infections causing the appearance of oral thrush, lip fissures and even bad breath.
  7. Problems with dental implants.
  8. Appearance of laryngitis, pharyngitis or constipation.

How you should treat xerostomia

Before treating xerostomia we must identify what has been its cause and enhance our oral hygiene. Therefore, we give you the following treatments.

  • Reduce the use of medications that enhance it. Before doing so, you should consult your doctor if possible.
  • Find out if you can stimulate the salivary glands mechanically, chemically, or in taste.
  • You can use salivary alternatives and/or salivary stimulants. Salivary alternatives usually include the use of liquids such as water, milk, whey or, in more severe cases, the application of artificial saliva. Finally, in situations where the salivary glands are active, salivary stimulants can be used to promote the natural production of saliva, such as malic acid.
  • Apply other dental hygiene techniques. Use brushes with softer bristles or specific toothpastes.
  • See your dentist for a checkup.

At Gross Dentists, a dental clinic in Malaga, we are experts in oral health. We perform all kinds of treatments and help you prevent this and other problems. For more information, ask your appointment with us.

Ortodoncista Dra. Concha Gross de Bethencourt

Ortodoncista especializada en el sistema de ortodoncia invisible, extensa trayectoria profesional y un gran número de pacientes satisfechos con los resultados obtenidos tras la finalización de su tratamiento.

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