Dry mouth – causes and treatments
Have you ever heard about a condition known as dry mouth? it’s a problem that affects as many as two-thirds of people at some point in their lives.
Dry mouth is a condition where your mouth doesn’t have enough saliva to keep it moist. This can make your mouth feel dry and sore. It can also cause your lips to crack. You may also feel very thirsty.
One of the dangers of dry mouth is the effect it can have on your oral health. When your mouth is dry, it tends to become acidic, which is the perfect environment for cavities and gum disease to occur. For this reason, it’s best to treat dry mouth as soon as possible.
In this blog post, we will look at dry mouth at all stages of life: childhood, adulthood and old age. After this, we’ll discuss how to treat it.
Causes of dry mouth in childhood
Dry mouth is rare in children. Even so, it is still worth discussing. Some of the causes of dry mouth in children include:
- Certain medical conditions, such as Sjogren’s syndrome and diabetes
- Certain medications, such as medications prescribed for mood disorders
- Diarrhoea can temporarily cause dehydration and dry mouth
Dry mouth in adulthood
Dry mouth occurs much more frequently in adulthood than it does in childhood. The causes of dry mouth in adults include
- Medical conditions such as Sjogren’s syndrome and diabetes
- Medications, such as those prescribed for high blood pressure and allergies
As you can see, the causes of dry mouth in adulthood are much the same as the causes in childhood.
Dry mouth in old age
Older people are the demographic most likely to have dry mouth. This is because older people, in general, have more illnesses and medications than younger people.
- Medical conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes
- Medications for high blood pressure and allergies
Even though dry mouth occurs more often among older people than younger people, it should not be considered to be a normal part of ageing. Instead, there is usually an underlying cause which can be treated once discovered.
Treating dry mouth
If you suffer from dry mouth, then the best thing to do is to see a doctor for medical advice. Your doctor should help you to discover the cause of your dry mouth and plan treatment.
However, there are a few things you can do in the meantime to alleviate your symptoms.
- Chew gum. Sugar-free gum is a great way to stimulate the production of saliva in your mouth, and what’s more, it won’t harm your teeth.
- Drink plenty of water. If your mouth doesn’t make enough saliva, then you will need to drink plenty of water to compensate for it.
- Avoid anything that dehydrates your mouth. Several things can dehydrate your mouth and it’s best to avoid these. They include smoking, alcohol, and coffee. So switch your morning coffee to a glass of water instead.
- Breathe through your nose instead of your mouth. Some people have the habit of breathing through their mouth. This isn’t ideal as it can dry your mouth out. It’s best to breathe through your nose instead.
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