01 Mar

Feeling dry mouth in London?

You might have experienced the feeling of dryness of mouth at least one time or other, which is quite natural while playing outside or during outdoor activities that is quenched easily by sipping some liquids. But when it becomes a continuous sensation affecting the quality of life, it requires our attention. Our mouth is kept moist and clean by the continuous secretion of saliva from salivary glands. The salivary glands are situated around the oral cavity and they all open into this cavity through very small pores. There are three pairs of major salivary glands viz. parotid, submaxillary, and sublingual/submandibular Saliva contains an important digestive enzyme ptyalin, and another protein mucin. Xerostomia or dry mouth is a condition affecting the mucous membranes and salivary glands. Generally, mouth is kept moist by continuous flow of saliva in to the buccal cavity. Any conditions affecting any of the structure or function of the related organs can cause inadequate secretion of saliva leading to the development of dry mouth, medically termed xerostomia and colloquially, cottonmouth. This condition can be due to some underlying diseases or due to some medications such as antihistamines, some antihypertensives, antidepressants, etc. This can be an after effect of chemotherapy or radiation therapy for some malignant conditions and can also be caused by diseases such as Sjogren’s syndrome, diabetes, Eaton-Lambert syndrome, sarcoidosis, amyloidosis, etc. The natural causes of dry mouth are anxiety, dehydration, mouth breathing, etc. Some women undergoing HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) may develop dry mouth. Sometimes it could be the result of a trauma or injury to salivary glands, its ducts, or its nerves. We all know that saliva plays a major role in reducing dental caries. Hence, the treatment of xerostomia is of prime importance in preventing dental caries and other oral diseases. It is also important for taste perception. As this condition is secondary to some other condition, the basic point in treatment is to correct the primary condition which causes it. Dry mouth could be a problem in old age due to inadequate production of saliva, for which the easiest solution is to take frequent sips of non-sugary drinks. We can also use some non-sugary chewing gum, which will increase the flow of saliva. There are some artificial saliva and lubricating gels available over the counter, in all leading London pharmacies. Lack of saliva can be painful to the patient and the difficulties caused by it vary from simple dryness in mouth to difficulty in swallowing and even speech, affecting the quality of life. Therefore, even if you feel your symptoms only mildly, it is better to get the help and advice from your dentist to reduce the severity of the condition. The doctor may check the salivary flow rate by sialometry and if needed, a sialography to determine if you have xerostomia and the possible causes of it. He might also suggest the usage of total care toothpastes, alcohol-free mouth rinses, Oral Balance lubricating gels, xylitol gum etc. Increasing hard cheese in your diet also could help reduce the condition.