Location of the salivary glands
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Dry mouth, or xerostomia (zeer-o-STOE-me-uh) refers to a condition where the salivary glands in your mouth don’t produce enough saliva to keep your mouth moist. Dry mouth is often due to side effects of certain medications, or aging problems or radiation therapy for cancer. Less commonly, dry mouth can be caused by a condition that directly affects the salivary glands.
Saliva prevents tooth decay by neutralizing acids produced by bacteria, limiting bacterial growth and removing food debris. Xerostomia Treatment in Hyderabad
If you are not producing enough saliva, you may experience these signs and symptoms all or most of the time:
- Dryness or a sticky feeling in the mouth
- Saliva that looks thick and thread-like
- Bad breath
- Difficulty chewing, speaking and swallowing
- Dry or sore throat and hoarseness
- Dry or grooved tongue
- A changed sense of taste
- Problems wearing dentures
A dry mouth occurs when the salivary glands in the mouth don’t produce enough saliva to keep the mouth moist. These glands may not work properly because:
- Medication. Hundreds of medications, including many over-the-counter drugs, cause dry mouth as a side effect. The types most likely to cause problems include some of the drugs used to treat depression, high blood pressure, and anxiety, as well as some antihistamines, decongestants, muscle relaxants, and pain relievers. Xerostomia Treatment in Hyderabad
- Aging. Many elderly people have dry mouths as they age. Factors include use of certain medications, changes in the body’s ability to process drugs, inadequate nutrition, and long-term health problems.
- Cancer therapy. Chemotherapy drugs can change the type of saliva and the amount produced. This can be temporary, with normal salivation returning after treatment is over. X-rays on the head and neck can damage the salivary glands and significantly reduce saliva production. This can be temporary or permanent, depending on the radiation dose and the area being treated.
If you don’t have enough saliva and develop a dry mouth, the following can lead to:
- Increased plaque, tooth decay and gum disease
- Mouth sores
- Yeast infection in the mouth (thrush)
- Sore or split skin on the corners of your mouth or chapped lips
- Poor diet due to chewing and swallowing problems