What is dry mouth syndrome

Dry mouth syndrome or xerostomia can be defined as dryness of the mouth caused by a partial or total decrease in salivary secretion.

Saliva is essential to maintain a healthy oral state, so if its amount decreases can have direct effects when it comes to savoring food or talking. In any case, it is not a disease, but a symptom that has its own causes.

Here are some of the symptoms of dry mouth syndrome:

  • Dry mouth and bad breath
  • Cracks and fissures in the oral mucosa
  • Swelling and fissures in the lips
  • Swelling of the tongue and ulcers in the tongue.
  • Yeast infections in the mouth, such as oral candida
  • Glosodinia or pain in the tongue
  • Dyspepsia or taste disorders
  • Increased need to drink water, mainly at night

How can dry mouth syndrome be remedied?

Before starting a possible treatment, it is necessary to find out if this syndrome is reversible or not. If it is reversible it will be able to heal the damaged area, if it is not, the salivary gland cannot be recovered.

Treatments for xerostomia are based on the use of substitutes that make the function of saliva and temporarily moisten the mucosa of the mouth. These substitutes may be salivary stimulants. Anyway, during treatment, it will also be necessary to maintain good oral hygiene to minimize the possibility of dental caries or other oral infections.

If dry mouth syndrome persists, in addition to maintaining proper oral hygiene, it is recommended to use toothbrushes with soft bristles, to use toothpaste with fluorides and to use moisturizing gels that maintain a good hydration of the mucosa.

In addition, it is also essential not to consume alcohol, tobacco or dental hygiene products with a pH below 5.5. It is also advisable to chew foods that help the natural segregation of saliva.

One of the main causes of xerostomia lies in the consumption of drugs such as anti-inflammatories or drugs against allergy or depression. Chemotherapy or radiation treatments may also cause dry mouth syndrome.