Dry mouth is a condition that can affect any person. It is medically known as xerostomia. This condition can be caused by a number of factors. Dry mouth causes some symptoms which may be painful and disturbing. Read on to know more about this medical condition.
What is dry mouth?
Dry mouth which is medically known as xerostomia is a condition that results of shortage of saliva in the mouth or inability of the body to make enough saliva. If your body is not producing enough saliva, the body will become dry and you will become uncomfortable as a result of the situation. The saliva in the mouth perform a lot of functions. It contains some digestive enzymes for the digestion of certain food substance. Besides, it soften the food being masticated by the eat thus making mastication and swallowing easy. It also aids the general process of digestion. Saliva prevents the mouth from getting infected by controlling the fungi and bacteria in the mouth. It enhances the health of the teeth by washing away plague and food particles left on the teeth after eating.
The causes of dry mouth
There are a number of factors that can cause dry mouth. Some of the causes of dry mouth are as follow:
- Side effect of certain medication: there are some medications that can trigger can trigger xerostomia as their side effects. Some of these drugs are prescriptive and over-the-counter medications used in the treatment of anxiety, allergies, pain, depression, colds, acne, epilepsy, obesity, diarrhea, nausea, hypertension, asthma, urinary incontinence and others. sedatives and muscles relaxants can also result in xerostomia.
- Side effects of certain infections and diseases: There are some infections that can cause shortage of saliva production in the mouth. Some such infections and diseases are stroke, Parkinson's disease, hypertension, numbs, cystic fibrosis, anemia, rheumatoid arthritis, anemia, diabetes, HIV/AIDs, Sjogren's syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis and others.
- Nerve damage: nerve damage to the neck area as well as the head during surgical procedures can result in dry mouth.
- Side effect of certain medical treatments: Saliva is produced by the salivary glands. Damage to this gland during surgical or any medical treatment can result to reduction in the production of saliva in the mouth and thus shortage in the quantity of saliva in the mouth. Radiation to the neck area and head can damage the saliva gland. It can also be damaged during chemotherapy treatment for cancer. If the salivary gland is surgically removed, the body will produced little or no saliva and such surgical procedure can result in xerostomia.
- Dehydration: There are certain medication conditions that result in dehydration. Such conditions include fever, vomiting, blood loss, burns, diarrhea and excessive sweating. Dehydration refers to loss of or shortage of body fluid or water in the body. It can cause dry mouth.
- Lifestyle: There are some lifestyle which can result in dry mouth. Such lifestyle include keeping your mouth open when breathing, smoking, not taking enough water and others.