You may never have heard of xerostomia, but it’s something everyone experiences from time to time.
Xerostomia is the medical term for dry mouth. What causes it? Numerous medications, damage to certain nerves in the neck or head caused by injury or radiotherapy, smoking, or problems with your salivary glands due to illnesses such as diabetes and Parkinson’s. In addition to being uncomfortable, xerostomia can cause swallowing problems, alter your sense of taste, and promote the development of plaque and tooth decay. Some causes of dry mouth can be directly targeted to eliminate the symptom. In other cases, certain techniques can minimize the problem, such as frequently drinking small sips of water, sucking on ice cubes or sugarless candy, using saliva substitutes, or avoiding factors that can aggravate the condition (eating foods that are too salty, using mouthwash containing alcohol, smoking, etc.). You should also maintain good oral hygiene to prevent tooth decay and gingivitis. For more advice, see your health professional!