Examining the Causes of Xerostomia (Dry Mouth)

 

When people ask dental professionals about their dental care, many times they have questions about what causes them to have a dry mouth. Indeed, having a dry mouth is a problem that many Americans struggle with today.

It may not seem like such a big deal, but having a dry mouth can be very uncomfortable and unpleasant. Glands in our mouths produce saliva, which is our mouths’ natural lubricant.

Saliva keeps our mouths moist and feeling pleasant, and it is also our mouth’s natural cleaner. Saliva also helps eliminate harmful bacteria from our mouths.

You can see why it is so important for our mouths to be moist and our saliva production to be healthy. Having a dry mouth can also be referred to as xerostomia.

You may be wondering why xerostomia happens to some people and not to others. Xerostomia is often the side effect of a variety of medications.

People taking medications used to treat anxiety, depression, allergies, pain, colds, acne, obesity, epilepsy, diarrhea, nausea, asthma, and Parkinson’s disease often experience dry mouth. Dry mouth can even be a side effect of certain sedatives and muscle relaxants.

Dry mouth can also be a side effect of certain medical conditions or diseases. Conditions like AIDS, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, anemia, cystic fibrosis, arthritis, hypertension, mumps, and stroke often plague their victims with a dry mouth along with the other ailments that occur with the condition.

Certain medical treatments can also cause a person to have dry mouth. Special treatments like radiation or chemotherapy treatments are common treatments that often result in a dry mouth.

If you have nerve damage to your head or neck, you may experience a dry mouth as well. Whether your nerve damage comes from injury or surgery, it does not matter; you will still probably experience a dry mouth.

See your dental professional today to get more information and knowledge about what causes dry mouth.  

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E. John Baron DDS, INC.
550 Water Street, Suite L-1
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
(831) 426-9200

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