Saliva in the mouth is important for several functions. It mainly helps us to eat and chew, but is also a kind of mouth and teeth protection. Without saliva, the risk of mouth problems increases, such as caries or inflamed gums.
Mouth dryness affects both younger and older people, but is more common in the elderly and sick persons as a result of the risk of dry mouth increasing in many medications. It is often related to general health and can have many causes, but can be treated.
Causes of dry mouth
Mouth dryness is because there is too little saliva in the mouth, or that the texture of the saliva is not as it should. In the mouth there are mainly three salivary glands that produce different types of saliva, which are then mixed into one. There also seems to be a connection between dry mouth and the number of medicines a person takes. The more drugs that are consumed, the higher the risk of dry mouth. Medication for mental disorders, in particular, has been shown to affect saliva production.
Common causes of dry mouth
- Radiation treatment of head or neck
- Disease, such as diabetes or syndrome
- Nervousness or stress
- Dehydrated body
Symptoms of dry mouth
Dry mouth is the leading cause of poor oral health. Since dry mouth is related to public health, it may be important to seek help for their symptoms. Often the symptoms worsen over time and the mouth becomes drier.
Common symptoms of dry mouth
- Hard to eat and chew
- Bad breath
- Hard to sleep
- Infections and tooth loss
This is how dry mouth is treated
Dry mouth is mainly treated through self-care. The care is to stimulate the production of saliva and to take care of the teeth. If self-care according to the tips below does not help, then there are prescription drugs that can relieve symptoms.
- Avoid eating small and drink plenty of water
- Chew sugar-free chewing gum. There are also lozenges and gels that help increase the amount of saliva in the mouth
- There are good remedies that work as a salivary. Available at pharmacies
- Eat foods with a lot of chewing resistance to stimulate saliva production
In case of dry mouth it is extra important to visit dental care regularly as the risk of poor oral health is great. Don’t forget to brush your teeth with a soft toothbrush twice a day!