Saliva is an integral part of our body and it plays an important role in digestion. It helps in breaking down food and it rinses the bacteria present in our mouth. Dry mouth (Xerostomia) is a condition where there is a lack of adequate saliva in our mouth. The lack of adequate saliva in our mouth can cause difficulty in chewing, swallowing, and even in speaking. Also, adequate amounts of saliva are needed to prevent bacteria from sticking onto our teeth and causing tooth decay.
People suffering from dry mouth often have an irritating and annoying experience. During the night, the condition is at its worst. Waking up thirsty is particularly uncomfortable and frustrating. Chronic dry mouth can cause tooth decay and gum disease.
Causes and Symptoms of Dry Mouth in Children
- Presence of Adenoids, a patch of tissue high up in the throat, behind the nose.
- Some habits like thumb sucking can cause an open bite and incompetent lips where they do not close. This results in mouth breathing which in turn causes dry mouth.
The solution to prevent Dry Mouth in Children
- Wearing myobraces or Habit-breaking appliances can address the issue of Dry mouth in children.
Causes and Symptoms of Dry mouth in Adults
- Certain things can be corrected but some need permanent solutions.
- Dry mouth is not a disease by itself. Rather, it is a symptom of other conditions. Dry mouth is commonly caused due
- Oral infection (both decay and gum disease
- Respiratory infection
- Cancer in the mouth. Radiation exposure can also cause dry mouth
- Chewing tobacco, smoking
- Certain medical conditions like diabetes, Parkinson’s, etc
- Some medications can also cause dry mouth. Blood pressure drugs, antihistamines, antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, etc are few.
Common Symptoms of Dry Mouth
A dry tongue, dry throat, cracked lips, and experiencing a sticky feeling in your mouth are some of the common symptoms of having Dry Mouth. Some people with dry mouth also experience difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, and diminished taste sense. Here are a few tips on how you can prevent dry mouth while sleeping.
How to prevent dry mouth while sleeping?
- Breath through your nose rather than your mouth
- Stay hydrated throughout the day. Drink enough water.
- Chew sugar-free gum, or sugar-free candy or mints to help increase saliva production in your mouth.
- Try using special mouth wash and toothpaste for dry mouth as recommended by your dentist.
- Avoid acidic food and spicy foods.
- Limit or avoid alcohol consumption. Avoid consuming caffeine especially during the night.
- Quit smoking for good.
- Keep good oral hygiene to avoid any risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
- Place a humidifier in your room to keep the air moist.
- Keep a glass of water or ice chips beside your bed.