Dry mouth syndrome occurs when there is not enough saliva. The saliva:
lubricates the oral mucosa
has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties,
cleanses the mouth
maintains acid-base balance
helps with the correct pronunciation of the sounds in speech.
helps to get the taste of food
moistens food, which enables comfortable swallowing
All systemic diseases should be evaluated, amount of saliva should be measured and chemical and immunological tests should be done. After these tests, dry mouth syndrome can be diagnosed. Patients with dry mouth syndrome have;
dry feeling in the mouth
a raw tongue
swallowing and speech difficulties
increased sense of thirst
Increased risk of plaque, dental caries and fungal infection in the mouth.
Differential diagnosis of the dry mouth is important, some drugs and systemic drugs may cause dry mouth. Blood pressure medications, allergy medications, sleep medications and psychic sensitivity regulators may cause dry mouth. Diabetes, hypertension, immune deficiency, Parkinson and systemic diseases such as neurological diseases may cause dry mouth. Radiation therapy to the head and neck may cause obstruction of salivary ducts and this may also cause dry mouth. Treatment of dry mouth should be evaluated in terms of cause and effect relationship. Basic of the treatment is activating the salivary gland. Chewing sugar-free gum and citric acid-containing fruit sugar consumption increase the amount of saliva and this may be a short-term solution. In patients with dry mouth, regular dental checkups prevent other diseases in the mouth. The patients can use lanolin cream for dry chapped lips. There are artificial saliva preparations for dry mouth. These preparations may be in liquid gel or spray forms. The preparations should be taken under supervision of a doctor.
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