Dry mouth syndrome is otherwise called xerostomia. This condition does not only cause physical discomfort but is also a key factor in the development of dental caries. According to the ADA, it is not a disease, but rather, a symptom of one. Here are 5 reasons why someone might have this condition.
Medication Side Effect
There are certain medications that induce dry mouth. These include prescription and nonprescription medications. Drugs that treat anxiety, depression, psychotic disorders, pain, colds, and allergies are the most common culprits. These are closely followed by drugs for hypertension, acne, obesity, nausea, diarrhea, and asthma. Certain sedatives and muscle relaxants also cause dry mouth syndrome.
Xerostomia can be your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. Certain medical conditions have xerostomia as a notable symptom. Conditions like mumps, stroke, hypertension, cystic fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, anemia, HIV, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Sjögren’s syndrome cause patients to experience dry mouth. Please note that it could be caused by the medication given to treat these diseases. However, many patients can attest to developing this condition long before medical treatment.
Medical Treatment Side Effect
Damage to the salivary glands can occur in patients who have undergone chemotherapy or radiation therapy in the head and neck areas. Nerve damage is another factor. This can stem from a procedure done to the head and neck area that compromises the salivary glands. A good example would be emergency surgery in the head or neck region of an individual who experienced severe trauma due to force.
The lack of proper hydration can lead to xerostomia as well. People who experience vomiting, diarrhea, blood loss, high fever, excessive sweating and those who have severe burns will naturally exhibit this condition.
Individuals who enjoy smoking, chewing tobacco and drinking are prone to dry mouth syndrome. These vices can lessen the amount of saliva produced by the salivary glands. Smokers and drinkers who do not plan to quit anytime soon should see an oral care expert regularly to check for cavities and other dental health problems.
If you live in Ohio and want to get oral care tips to prevent or manage xerostomia, Dr. Dana Walters, DDS is your best bet. To schedule a consultation, please call 614.771.6172 today.