Dry mouth—known medically as xerostomia—is a condition that occurs when saliva glands in the mouth don’t work properly, causing a parched feeling in the mouth. Other symptoms include a rough tongue, mouth sores, and cracked lips.
Saliva is a necessary part of the digestion process, as well as a major defense mechanism that your body needs to maintain good dental health. Saliva protects the mouth against gum disease and tooth decay. While not a serious medical condition, dry mouth can be a sign of a larger medical problem.
Causes of Dry Mouth
- pain relievers
- appetite suppressants
- autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis or Sjögren's syndrome
- radiation therapy of the head and neck
- blood pressure medication
- urinary incontinence medications
Treatments for Dry Mouth
Dry mouth is usually a temporary and treatable condition. In most cases, it can be treated by doing on or more of the following:
- sipping water often
- sucking on ice cubes or sugarless candy
- chewing sugarless gum
- avoiding alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco
- avoiding salty or spicy foods
- limiting sugar intake
- using a humidifier in your bedroom overnight
- taking over-the-counter saliva substitutes
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Published By: Healthline Networks, Inc.