Xerostomia is also known as dry mouth and is a medical term describing the mouths lack of saliva. It is a common problem for smokers all over the world. It might not be a disease by itself but it can be indicative of other medical issues. Xerostomia affects a person’s dietary habits because it causes people to drink more liquid, which in turn causes a lapse in appetite. It also causes people to have dental problems because of the lack of saliva. Saliva protects the enamel on teeth and the absence of saliva makes it more likely for people to have cavities.
Xerostomia can be caused by many different things. Some people taking medications will experience dryness of the mouth. For example, cancer patients can experience Xerostomia because of the various treatments they have to undergo. Any radiation focused around the salivary glands can be damaging to them and cause Xerostomia. Some of the medications that people have to take for their many different afflictions; can cause dryness of the mouth. Some people who have recently undergone surgery in the head or neck area may be more prone to this problem due to damage of the nerves that supply sensations to the mouth. Many people with auto immune problems can cause Xerostomia. Many people will agree that even during a common cold they experience periods of dryness of the mouth. There are many different variables to consider when diagnosing this affliction, but again it must be said that it is not a disease in and of itself but a symptom of another problem.
Most doctors say Xerostomia can be treated by finding out the reasons behind it. Although drinking water does help in overall health of people, for those with Xerostomia, it does not help and in some actually accentuates the problem. Xerostomia is currently being treated with different mouthwashes and other oral hygiene products. Special toothbrushes in conjunction with special toothpaste will sometimes help people with dryness of the mouth. Many people take to chewing gum to help them with this issue. It must be stated that anyone experiencing chronic dry mouth should see a doctor to get the proper medical diagnosis and subsequent treatments.
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