Having dry mouth can be extremely uncomfortable, but the truth is that it can also lead to countless other medical conditions that may become serious. Luckily, our ENT Doctors know a thing or two about dry mouth.
A Closer Look at Dry Mouth
Dry mouth, sometimes called xerostomia, is a condition caused by a dramatic lack of saliva in the mouth. This lack of saliva seems, at first glance, rather trivial–but in truth, saliva is crucial, because it aids in everything from speech to digestion and is necessary for comfort. If left unchecked, dry mouth can develop into an extremely dry mouth or salivary gland dysfunction, which cause permanent damage to the throat and mouth and can lead to anxiety disorders. Dry mouth is not particularly common, but it does affect women more often than men, and it mostly occurs in individuals taking prescription medication. Dry mouth can be caused by a variety of things, including smoking, eating disorders, sleep apnea, autoimmune disorders, and more.
A Closer Look
What do you need to know about dry mouth? Let our ENT Doctors explain!
- Symptoms. There are many symptoms of dry mouth, including a sore throat, frequent thirst, changes in sense of taste, and a general dry feeling in the mouth and throat. Besides these rather clear-cut symptoms, there are other possible warning signs that may not be as obvious: hoarseness, headaches, and dry eyes are just a few.
- Diagnosis. Diagnosing dry mouth can be difficult because symptoms and complaints vary from patient to patient. In general, a good diagnosis will involve a thorough check of the mouth and teeth. The main salivary glands and ducts will be inspected and saliva levels will be measured both with and without stimulation. This will help to determine the cause of dry mouth as well as the severity.
- Treatment. In treating dry mouth, experts try to provide the comfort and health levels that saliva usually protects. For example, treatment involves saliva preservation, which means anything that minimizes saliva amounts must be cut out of the diet, and saliva stimulation, which helps to protect from cavities and make the mouth more comfortable.
Interested in more info on dry mouth? Looking for ENT Doctors? Contact us at (208) 336-4368 today!