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Many people, especially older individuals, often report experiencing the symptoms of dry mouth, which is a medical condition known as xerostomia. According to medical experts, old age doesn’t trigger xerostomia. The reason that the condition is more common in older people is that their medication intake often leads to its symptoms.

People who have xerostomia don’t produce enough saliva, which is why most of them struggle to chew, swallow food, and speak clearly. Some patients describe it as a burning feeling in the mouth, and others say that it feels like a mouthful of cotton balls.

In any case, having a dry mouth can make a person prone to tooth decay and bad breath. Since a person who has dry mouth does not produce enough saliva, they most likely have dry lips and suffer from mouth and throat sores as well.

If you or someone you know is experiencing some of its symptoms, then you need to see a dentist or a doctor soon. While the condition is not serious, it may be a sign of other diseases that are potentially life-threatening.

There are risk factors that you have to consider, which will be outlined in the sections below.

Causes and Risk Factors

As mentioned above, medication is one of the factors why elderly people experience dry mouth. If you are taking medicines and experiencing symptoms of xerostomia, it would be best to consult your physician so they can adjust your prescription.

According to medical experts, xerostomia can also be a sign of other underlying diseases, such as diabetes, Sjögren’s syndrome, Addison’s disease, and alcoholic cirrhosis, as these somehow lowers a patient’s saliva production. Other conditions, such as HIV/AIDS, high blood pressure, and depression, can also cause dry mouth. For this reason, you should consult your local dentist as soon as possible to get the right health assessment and treatment.

Basic Home and Personal Treatment Care

Xerostomia is a condition that doesn’t require extensive and critical operations. A dentist can design a comprehensive plan to treat dry mouth, which you can easily do at home. Typically, these plans consist of water intake recommendations and food restrictions.

To further elaborate, here is the basic home treatment that will most likely be recommended to a patient that has dry mouth:

Water Intake Reminders and Recommendations:

  • Drink room-temperature water or water that is not too hot or cold
  • Drink water before and after eating a meal
  • Chew sugarless gum to increase saliva production

Beverages to Avoid:

  • Sugary drinks
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Caffeine and tea
  • Alcoholic beverages

Conclusion

Xerostomia is a condition where a person’s mouth becomes too dry to chew and swallow food. Although dry mouth in itself can be easily treated, it would be best to consult your local dentist or physician as some of its symptoms may be signs of other diseases as well.

To treat dry mouth, you will need to ensure that your body is getting an adequate amount of water every day. Aside from that, staying away from sugary beverages and alcoholic drinks may help prevent it from occurring.

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