If you ever feel like your mouth is dry or sticky, or have stringy and thick saliva, you may be suffering from dry mouth. Dry mouth, also called xerostomia, is a non-life-threatening oral condition. It occurs when you don’t have enough saliva in your mouth to keep the mouth wet.
Saliva is a watery and clear fluid secreted by sublingual, submaxillary, parotid, and many other smaller mucous glands of the mouth. It washes food particles away, protects your teeth from the acids in foods and drinks., improves taste and makes chewing and swallowing easy. Insufficient saliva can cause mild to severe problems that affect your gums, teeth, overall health, appetite and ability to enjoy food. A dry mouth can be incredibly uncomfortable, even though you’ve only experienced it for a short while. It reduces a person’s quality of life because it affects simple day-to-day activities, such as tasting, eating, speaking, and swallowing. Untreated xerostomia can also lead to cavity formation or dental erosion.
Check the following symptoms to diagnose dry mouth:
Loss of moisture or sticky sensation in the mouth
Thick or stringy saliva
Problems with swallowing, chewing, and speaking
Dry or sore throat and hoarseness
Abnormal sense of taste
Difficulty using dentures
Xerostomia naturally occurs during sleep and typically causes bad breath in the morning. Adults who sleep with their mouths open are more likely to experience dry mouth. Chronic dry mouth, on the other hand, is caused by diseases, medications, or problems with the salivary glands.
Xerostomia can be reversed with lifestyle changes. Depending on the condition’s severity, there are some useful tips for relieving dry mouth:
Stay hydrated. Drink sufficient water throughout the day and during meals. At least 8-12 glasses of water daily.
Chew gum or suck on hard candy. Chewing gum or sucking on hard candy helps someone relieve dry mouth. But make sure it’s sugar-free.
Avoid dry mouth stimulants, like alcohol and caffeine; food and drinks that are sugary and acidic; tobacco products, these make a dry mouth worse
Moisten your food. Since your salivary glands aren’t producing sufficient saliva, moistening all dry foods will make them easier to chew and swallow.
Apply lip balm or lip moisturizer to your lips to prevent drying and cracking.