What is Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)?
Dry Mouth, also called Xerostomia, is the result of not having enough saliva in your mouth.
What causes Dry Mouth is a reduction in saliva flow. This issue is often a side effect of a range of medical conditions or circumstances that are direct causes of Dry Mouth. Many everyday medicines cause Dry Mouth — for a list of conditions whose medications often lead to Dry Mouth, click here. The symptoms of Dry Mouth affect sufferers to varying degrees of discomfort. You may notice you have a dry tongue, dry lips or a dry throat. These are some of the primary and more obvious Dry Mouth symptoms.
Dry Mouth symptoms can also make eating difficult or embarrassing because saliva helps you taste, chew and digest food. Without it, a nice dinner can become something that is more challenging than enjoyable. Saliva also lubricates and protects your mouth from infection and protects your teeth from the acids in food. Reduced saliva flow can lead to damaged mouth tissue and contribute to both dental decay and bad breath. These more severe symptoms of Dry Mouth are the reason that Xerostomia treatment is crucial to good health and more comfortable living.
Recognizing Dry Mouth symptoms*
The effects of chronic Dry Mouth may be severe, moderate or mild. Mild sufferers are unlikely to even know that they are affected. Maybe you’ve noticed food sticking to the roof of your mouth or difficulty swallowing. You likely see your Dry Mouth symptoms as normal, and simply try drinking more rather than try another Dry Mouth treatment.
If you’re a moderate Dry Mouth sufferer, you may also be unaware that the things you are experiencing are symptoms of Dry Mouth. Dry lips are one of the symptoms of Xerostomia and you may develop sores at the corners of your mouth. You may find yourself avoiding certain foods that prove difficult to eat. Denture-wearers often find that their dentures don’t stay in place. Your attempts for finding Dry Mouth remedies at this level may include drinking more, sucking sweets or applying lip balm.
Severe sufferers of Dry Mouth will find that the symptoms have a serious impact on their quality of life. A dry tongue and dry throat may make it painful to eat and you may develop mouth ulcers or fungal infections. Your dentist may see widespread decay, increased plaque levels and food debris, as well as a “pebbled” tongue and red and shiny tongue and cheeks. These Dry Mouth symptoms are unnecessary issues that only add to the discomforts that come along with these Dry Mouth causes.
*Biotene is not indicated for all symptoms listed.