A dental epidemic is brewing, and it's called Xerostomia, or "Dry Mouth". It sounds innocuous enough, and perhaps that is why many people affected by the problem fail to treat it, or detect it altogether. But it's nothing to scoff at, especially considering that extreme cases of this widespread problem include difficulty swallowing, speaking, and in some instances, bacterial or fungal infection.
Even if you don't currently suffer from insufficient saliva production, it can easily happen to you! Here's why, how to spot it and what you can do about it.
Many types of prescription medications can contribute to dry mouth:
Dry mouth can occur due to a variety of health issues including:
Saliva production can be significantly reduced due to an impairment of the salivary glands from radiation, chemotherapy, surgery or an accident involving the head or neck.
Last, but not least, dry mouth can be attributed to everyday habits and situations. Illness, excessive sweating, diarrhea and other causes of dehydration may result in a parched, uncomfortable feeling in your mouth. Other factors such as smoking and sleeping with your mouth open are major contributors to this condition. Many cases can also be chalked up to aging, or are a result of natural health developments such as pregnancy or menopause.
Just as countless factors may cause dry mouth, the condition itself can vary widely by individual. If any of these warning signs are familiar to you, see your dentist for help:
Due to the complex nature (and countless causes) of this condition, enlisting the help of your dentist is your best bet for long lasting relief. After a thorough examination and review of your health and medical history, he or she may prescribe a mouth rinse or saliva-boosting medication to treat the problem.
Certain modifications to your everyday routine could also help ease the discomfort:
Depending on the underlying cause of your situation, dry mouth may be temporary or a problem that's here to stay. Regardless of duration, however, seeing your dentist regularly will be crucial to protect yourself against tooth decay and other costly oral health problems.
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