Xerostomia is a medical condition characterized by dry mouth, also known as "dry mouth syndrome." It refers to a decrease in saliva production, which can lead to symptoms such as dry mouth and throat, difficulty speaking and swallowing, and an increased risk of cavities and other oral health problems. 'Dry mouth' can be caused by various factors, including certain medications, medical conditions, and radiation therapy, and can lead to decreased quality of life and oral health.
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What Is Saliva?
Saliva is a natural flushing and cleansing fluid of the oral cavity. Saliva maintains an optimum environment in the mouth by regulating its temperature and pH levels, provided that it is present in the correct quantity and consistency. Without enough saliva, bacteria and other organisms would grow too quickly, causing mouth sores and infections such as thrush and increasing the risk of cavities in the mouth. Saliva also flushes out food particles and acids produced in the mouth after eating. If this did not happen, it would cause inflammation of the gums, gingivitis, and cavities.
Symptoms of 'Dry Mouth'
- A sticky, dry feeling in the mouth.
- Bad breath or Halitosis.
- Frequent thirst or parched mouth.
- Sores in the mouth; cracks in the lips or in the corners of the mouth A dry feeling in the throat.
- A burning or tingling sensation in the mouth and especially on the tongue
- Change in the sense of taste.
- A dry, red, grooved tongue.
- Difficulty in swallowing.
- Hoarseness, dry nasal passages, sore throat.
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What Causes 'Dry Mouth'?
Many medications, including certain over-the-counter drugs, produce dry mouth as a side effect. Some of the more common ones are those used to treat depression, high blood pressure, and anxiety, as well as antihistamines, decongestants, muscle relaxants, and pain medications.
Older adults tend to complain of dry mouth as compared to younger ones. This could be caused by increased use of certain medications, changes in the body's ability to process medication, malnutrition, and long-term health problems.
Patients undergoing chemotherapy have been seen to have decreased salivary production as well as a change in saliva production. It tends to get thicker and stickier.
A dry mouth can be caused by an injury or surgery that causes nerve damage to the head and neck area.
Other Health Conditions
Patients suffering from diseases or health conditions such as Diabetes, stroke, yeast infection (thrush) of the mouth, Alzheimer's, or autoimmune diseases such as Sjogren's syndrome or HIV/AIDS can cause dry mouth symptoms too.
Tobacco and Alcohol Use
People who smoke, chew tobacco, or consume excessive alcohol are also seen to show dry mouth symptoms.
Recreational Drug Use
The use of Methamphetamine can cause severe dry mouth and damage to teeth; a condition also known as "meth mouth." Marijuana users may also suffer from symptoms of dry mouth.
How to Relieve 'Dry Mouth' Symptoms?
Take Care of Your Mouth.
You can do some things to relieve dry mouth temporarily, but for the best long-term treatment, you must first determine the cause and then treat it. Once the cause is treated, the symptoms will resolve on their own.
Use A Good Quality Natural Toothpaste With Xylitol
Look for natural ingredients such as Xylitol in your toothpaste to help increase salivary flow to maintain a wet environment in the mouth, prevent the growth of bacteria, and keep a neutral environment in the mouth. SprinJene Natural Toothpaste is one such toothpaste that has all the essential natural ingredients ideal for optimum oral hygiene.
Treatment for 'Dry Mouth'
A dry mouth caused by damage to the salivary gland may be a lifelong problem and requires patience to treat.
Here are some of the ways that the symptoms of dry mouth can be managed:
- Spend 2 to 3 minutes brushing your teeth and gums gently twice or thrice daily.
- Use a toothbrush with soft bristles.
- Let your toothbrush air dry between brushings.
- Avoid using mouth rinses that have alcohol in them, which causes further dryness.
- You may use an antibacterial rinse 2 to 4 times a day for gum disease.
- Chewing sugar-free gum or sucking on sugar-free hard candies can help stimulate the flow of saliva.
- Use of artificial saliva and oral rinses to provide temporary relief from dry mouth
- Avoid caffeinated beverages, tobacco, and alcohol.
- Drink water frequently to keep your mouth moist and loosen mucus.
- Avoiding foods or drinks that have a lot of sugar in them that may cause tooth decay
- Using lip care products to keep your lips from cracking and getting dry
- Sipping water to add wetness to the mouth and ease the mouth
- Patients with natural teeth should avoid agents that contain sugar due to their increased caries risk and are encouraged to use products containing Xylitol
Toothpaste With Xylitol
Xylitol is a healthier substitute for sugar that has been found to stimulate saliva production. This is because it activates the salivary glands and increases saliva flow, helping to maintain oral hydration and wash away harmful bacteria in the mouth. Additionally, Xylitol has been found to reduce the growth of harmful bacteria that cause tooth decay, which further helps maintain oral health.
SprinJene Natural Toothpaste is packed with the best organic ingredients for optimum oral health and to help prevent all dental problems. Xylitol is added as one of the ingredients to help stimulate and maintain the flow of saliva to avoid dry mouth and decrease the incidence of tooth decay.
- Made with black seed oil extracts and Zinc which have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory as well as lubricating properties which all help relieve dry mouth symptoms
- Salicylate-free and available in a fluoride-free option
- Free of artificial sweeteners
- Formulated with Xylitol, it helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease
- It is ADA-approved, Alcohol-free, cruelty-free, Halal, Kosher, and Gluten-free and is available in a wide range to suit the whole family's dental needs.
1. Effects of xylitol chewing gum on salivary flow rate, pH, buffering capacity and presence of Streptococcus mutans in saliva https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20359274/
2. Sugar substitutes, chewing gum and dental caries--a review https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9479811/