Chronic Dry Mouth
Xerostomia, also known as chronic dry mouth, affects about 30% of the population. It occurs when there is an absence of proper saliva production and usually there are underlying causes for this. Dry mouth is uncomfortable, can cause hoarseness, chronic bad breath, and chapped lips.
There are many causes of dry mouth including over the counter medications, diabetes, HIV, anemia, rheumatoid arthritis, and several others. These tend to cause long-term dry mouth symptoms. However, short-term dry mouth can be caused by dehydration from a stomach virus, too much alcohol, or anxiety.
If chronic dry mouth is left without treatment of any kind it can affect a person overall lifestyle. It may negatively affect a person’s digestion, taste, speech, and overall oral health. Various treatments include first managing the underlying causes or illnesses that may be contributing to dry mouth. Other treatments include lifestyle changes such as not drinking alcohol or caffeine, drinking lots of water to help with the flow of saliva, eating soft and moist foods, and avoiding mouthwashes that also contain alcohol in them. Chronic dry mouth can be very uncomfortable, but if you can manage the symptoms and underlying causes you can great oral health and less dry mouth.