Xerostomia is a term that refers to a dry mouth caused by decreased or insufficient saliva flow. Although xerostomia is not an illness, it can be a symptom of a range of medical problems, a side effect of head and neck radiation, or a side effect of a range of medicines.
Saliva helps to prevent tooth decay. It helps limit the growth of bacteria and wash out the food particles. Saliva makes it easy to swallow or chew the food and also enhances your taste abilities. A decrease in saliva or dry mouth significantly impacts your teeth health or gums and your general health. It may also have a significant impact on the enjoyment of having food.
If your amount of saliva decreases, you will notice the following signs:
Xerostomia or dry mouth is caused when you have a problem in salivary glands. Some of the leading causes are given below;
Most people suffer from dry mouth as they age. Factors may include the use of some medications. Because of the change in the body's ability to process medicines, long-term health issues can cause it.
The production of an amount of saliva changes along with the nature of saliva because of Chemotherapy drugs. This cause is temporary. When the therapy process is completed, it won't have any cause. Your salivary gland is damaged because of radiation treatment into your neck and head. This cause may be permanent or temporary, depending upon the dose of radiation you have.
Hundreds of the medicines left their side effects like a dry mouth. The medicines used to treat blood pressure, anxiety, depression, etc., leave some of their side effects, the leading cause of dry mouth. Some muscle relaxants, antihistamines, decongestants, and pain killer medications also cause dry mouth.
Some injuries that cause nerve damage to the area, like the neck or head, result in dry mouth or xerostomia.
Many people suffer from xerostomia, which affects their quality of life if it isn't diagnosed and treated on time. Dentists can help patients with xerostomia by providing helpful information about assessment, prevention, and appropriate treatment for xerostomia.
*Neither this nor any other content in this media is meant to prescribe, recommend, or prevent any treatment or procedure. We highly recommend that you get the advice of a qualified dentist or other medical practitioners regarding your specific dental condition.
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