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Definition of Dry Mouth, Prevention and Consultation

Dry mouth is common and often secondary to medications or irritating to mucous membranes. Not only is it uncomfortable but it promotes infection of the teeth and oral cavity but if it is prolonged it can lead to malnutrition.

Definition of dry mouth

Dry mouth (xerostomia or for doctors) is related to the decrease or disappearance of saliva secretion with normal volume is between 500 to 1500 ml / day.

What are the risks and health issues of dry mouth?

Dry mouth for nearly a quarter of the population and up to 30% over 65 years.
Saliva helps to clean teeth, dental plaque and oral mucosa, allowing them to defend against infections and is the first step in digestion of food. The decrease in saliva favors small mouth sores (particularly in dentures), tongue and lips, as well as tooth decay, gum infections and oral candidiasis or bone involvement of jaws.
Dry mouth discomfort chewing, digestion of food (the enzymes in the saliva softens the food bowl), swallowing and speech. In the elderly, the persistent lack of saliva may lead to malnutrition.

Symptoms of dry mouth

There are many:
The lack of saliva
- Hyposialia for physicians may be transient after dehydration, sweating or diarrhea and normalizes after rehydration correct.

But in most cases, dry mouth is secondary to the
A medication

- When problems dry mouth, more than 500 are involved! Most often involved are the nervous system drugs: tranquilizers, sleeping pills, antidepressants, epilepsy, Parkinson's, migraine, etc.. And some medicines against hypertension, urinary incontinence, nasal congestion, acne (vitamin A acid tablets).

- Saliva can be drained by irritants (alcohol, tobacco, cannabis), poor dental hygiene, or abuse of mouthwash aggressive: in particular those containing antiseptics.

Treatment of cancer
- In the face of radiotherapy or chemotherapy general almost always accompanies a dry mouth.
The obstruction of the nose

- Open mouth breathing, also promotes its drying
Much more rarely, the oral dryness is related to
Pathology of the salivary glands

- Much more rare, may be associated with dryness of other mucous membranes (eyes in particular) by various causes: autoimmune disease, Sjogren's syndrome, HIV / AIDS, diabetes, anemia, Parkinson's ...
In about 20% of cases are not found to cause dry mouth.

Dry mouth - Prevention

What are the signs of dry mouth?

It is manifested by difficulty speaking, chewing or swallowing, pain aggravated by contact with acidic foods or spicy difficulties to support dentures. She ultimately lead to loss of taste, bad breath, especially wounds or mucosal erosions at the language, inside the mouth or lips. The lips and tongue are often stuck in the morning with thick saliva.

The occurrence of caries recurrence, wounds mucosa, gum problems should raise questions about the amount of saliva.

How to treat dry mouth?

Stop tobacco, alcohol, cannabis and drugs not essential.
Small gestures are useful chew gum without sugar (or core fruit) of sweets without sugar.
Saliva substitutes are used in commercial mouthwashes or local applications to repeat several times a day. You can also use a solution "house" made of 5 ml lemon juice 45 ml + Glycerin + 50 ml of sterile water.
Other products protect the oral mucosa and limit dehydration.

How to prevent dry mouth?

It is necessary to maintain proper hydration daily, avoid refined sugars that promote tooth decay, as well as tobacco, check its oral systematically every 6 months to a year from his dentist.
The healthy teeth and dentures is essential. Must change if toothpaste causes tingling and not abusing mouthwashes, especially those containing antiseptics.

Dry mouth - Consultation

At what point consult the doctor?

When the drought persists, the physician must:

- Verify the absence of a cause which would require specific treatment;

- If possible, stop or change the medication potentially liable;

- Prescribe treatment stimulating salivary secretion if local treatments are inadequate.

Consultation with the dentist or dentist is required in case of caries, and gum disease, intolerance to dentures.

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