Dry Mouth: Often Dental Problems for Diabetics
Dry mouth is a general problem for people of all ages. The leading causes of this problem are salivary glands. You may already know that besides the tongue, teeth, and other organs inside your mouth also exist these glands. Their primary role is to make saliva for moistening and start digesting food using some of the enzymes. It is used for controlling bacteria inside your mouth. The saliva keeps your mouth wet, but if there is a dysfunction of salivary glands, your mouth can become dry and uncomfortable. This condition is also called xerostomia.
What Causes Xerostomia?
As dentist Harrisburg NC suggests, some of the leading causes of dry mouth are:
· The side effect of certain diseases
A dry mouth can be a common symptom of some severe diseases. Mostly, it can indicate diabetes type 1 or 2. Because of the high level of glucose in the blood and saliva, your mouth can become dry. Dry mouth also can be a side effect of some medical conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, anemia, HIV/AIDS, stroke, and others.
· The side effect of some medications
When we talk about medications, it would be best to mention that this refers to some prescription and nonprescription drugs. Some of these drugs can be sedatives, medicines used for treating anxiety, depression, pain, epilepsy, and some psychotic disorders. You should pay attention to some muscle relaxants and pain medications. Before using any of these medications, you need to consult your doctor and read the manual first.
· The side effect of medical treatments
This refers to the chemotherapy mostly. Because of the radiation and other cancer treatments, your salivary glands can be damaged, so they are not able to do their primary function. In the case of radiation, this condition can be temporary or even permanent, depending on the head and neck’s treated area. But, in the case of chemotherapy, it’s just temporary.
Many older people are having this type of problem. It can be the result of the impossibility of processing medication. When your body gets older, that ability is changing, which can be a consequence of long-term health problems.
· Smoking and consuming alcohol
Your lifestyle can affect your health. In general, smoking and consuming alcohol can cause so much damage to your entire organism. Smoking aggravates dry mouth, just like alcohol, and if you are breathing with your mouth open, there is a high chance of having a dry mouth problem.
Without enough fluid in your organism, your salivary glands can’t make enough saliva to keep your mouth wet always.
What Are The Symptoms?
Common symptoms are:
- A dry feeling in your mouth
- A red and dry tongue
- Cracked lips and sores inside your mouth
- Bad breath
- Problems with chewing and swallowing
- A changed sense of taste
How to Treat It?
Your doctor or dentist needs to determine the cause of your problem. For example, if some of the medications you are using cause dry mouth, your doctor will change it or reduce the dose. There are some of the things you can try. You can increase fluid intake. Try to chew sugar-free gum to increase salivary glands to produce saliva. Give up smoking and alcohol because of their effect on general health.
Maybe the most important thing is to see the problem in the beginning. If you see it earlier, the highest chance is for curing it. Just don’t forget that dry mouth can refer to some dental problems, so it’ll be best to see your dentist from time to time.