When I refer to the dry mouth syndrome, I am not referring to the sensation of dry mouth or dry throat that you notice when you suddenly become very nervous or after having played sports very intensely.
In these circumstances, it is normal for the mouth to dry out promptly since the tendency is to breathe through the mouth.
But dry mouth syndrome or xerostomia is a pathology somewhat more complex. It may seem at first glance. It leads to a lack of saliva for many different causes and different solution. Keep reading: Benefits and Uses of Oxygenated water: what is it for?
What is the dry mouth syndrome?
Xerostomia is characterized by a decrease in the amount of water in the mouth. It caused by some external cause, illness or medication consumption. Water is essential to moisturize the soft tissues of the mouth.
And not only that: water also serves to clean the inside of the mouth and to protect against infections and antibodies. So, the reduction or absence of it has serious consequences at the level of oral health.
Also, when the salivary flow decreases a lot, certain basic functions. Such as chewing food, swallowing them or articulating words. It can become very complicated or impossible altogether.
Cause of dry mouth syndrome
According to statistics, between 20% and 30% of the population suffers from this disease. The causes of dry mouth syndrome are multiple and very varied.
Among the main causes of xerostomia we can find:
Chemotherapy: the treatment of chemotherapy can cause the water to thicken and its flow to decrease markedly. It will then be difficult to hydrate the mouth properly.
Radiation therapy in the head or neck: patients who have undergone radiotherapy treatment in the head or neck to fight certain tumors may suffer damage to the glands as a result of treatment.
Medications: there are approximately 500 medications that have side effects of xerostomia.
Diseases: diabetes, HIV, bulimia, liver disorders, etc. They can cause dry mouth.
Pregnancy: the pregnant woman undergoes important hormonal changes. That can also produce dry mouth.
Menopause: the hormonal changes that occur during menopause can also trigger xerostomia.
Alcohol: whether you drink alcohol frequently or use an alcohol-based mouthwash, the mucous membranes may dry up.
Tobacco and drugs: one of the side effects of nicotine consumption, as well as other harder drugs such as cocaine, heroin. It is the reduction of the amount of saliva in the mouth.
Medications that cause dry mouth syndrome
In general, 80% of the medicines that are usually prescribed can provoke xerostomia in certain cases.
Medications, as varied as those prescribed to combat depression or psychosis. It can generate hyposalivation. The antidiuretics which is a substance to reduce hypertension; muscle relaxants; the sedatives; the anxiolytics; the antihistamines; the bronchodilators.
Consequences of Xerostomia
A mouth that is not properly hydrated is not healthy. Therefore, dry mouth can generate burning sensation, pain in the tongue, cracked lips, pasty mouth, lacerations in the corner of the mouth. The great sensation of thirst or tongue quartered.
But the worst consequence of dry mouth is related to cavities and periodontal diseases. As water does not fulfill its cleaning function, bacteria can easily attack the teeth and in a short time create caries.
On the other hand, the water can not drag the bacteria that dental plaque deposits under the gums. So, the possibility of gingivitis arising increases considerably.
Before focusing on possible medications for dry mouth, we must determine if it is a reversible or irreversible syndrome.
As its name suggests, not all of these processes can be reversed. In case the salivary glands have been damaged and are unable to fulfill their mission. We would be faced with an irreversible syndrome. Due to damage caused by radiotherapy or by some systemic disease.
However, if the xerostomia is reversible, it is necessary to make a diagnosis and give treatment in a dental clinic. To do this, we will start by making a panoramic radiograph and an intraoral and extraoral examination.
It is advisable to talk with the specialist who prescribed the drug to see if it is possible to modify it for another drug. That does not have dry mouth among its side effects.
On the other hand, it is also necessary to improve salivation by prescribing mouthwashes and toothpaste specific to xerostomia. Advising greater hydration and recommending the consumption of sugar-free gum with xylitol.
Along with that, if you smoke or drink alcohol – or even drinks with a lot of caffeine. It is also convenient to leave them or reduce the daily dose to see if the state of your mouth improves.
And in extreme cases, we could also prescribe a medication sialogogue. It will stimulate the salivary glands to secrete a greater amount of water.
Now that you know what the causes and consequences of dry mouth syndrome may be if you think you are suffering from an episode of xerostomia. It is convenient that you go through us. So that, we can stop it as soon as possible.