We all know drinking water is good for one’s health. However, what do you do when you find yourself drinking far more than the recommended amount and are still feeling as though your mouth is as dry as a desert? There are numerous reasons you could be suffering from dry mouth, or xerostomia, ranging from the benign to the serious. Let’s take a look at the top five reasons for xerostomia.
Sometimes having a dry mouth is just a normal part of life. Temporary anxiety, open-mouthed breathing, and mild dehydration are all examples of physiologic (or “normal”) causes of xerostomia. Additionally, menopause, pregnancy and decreases in salivary production due to sleep are also considered physiologic causes of xerostomia.
Sixty-three percent of the top 200 most commonly prescribed drugs in the U.S. are known to cause xerostomia. What’s worse, the higher the number of medications a person takes, the higher the chance of dry mouth. This is why as we age, we tend to experience more instances of xerostomia.
Habitual use of alcohol, cigarettes, and/or drugs
Use of any of these products will dry out the oral cavity. No real surprise here!
Sjögren’s disease, a chronic autoimmune disease in which white blood cells attack their moisture-producing glands, can cause dry mouth. Additionally, the inflammatory diseases Sarcoidosis, Hepatitis C, and Diabetes, can all cause xerostomia.
Psychogenic or Idiopathic
When symptoms are present without an identifiable cause (idiopathic), or because of psychological causes (psychogenic), they can be difficult to diagnose. Therefore, if you find yourself with a persistent case of xerostomia for an unknown reason, see your doctor for further diagnosis.
Dry mouth can be uncomfortable to live with on a daily basis. In fact, dry mouth is often an indication there is something causing the symptom that requires further examination. As always with any persistent medical condition, it’s important to never rely on self-diagnosis and to see your doctor for proper evaluation. Please contact Adams and Cheek Dentistry at http://raleighncdentistry.com/contact-our-office/ with any questions about your xerostomia.