Useful Tips

Dry mouth syndrome: symptoms, signs


Saliva plays a large role in the body, starting from the breakdown of food and ending with the protection of tooth enamel.
How and with what products to increase salivation?

Products for stimulating salivation.

When we drink water, our body produces more saliva, that is, water indirectly stimulates salivation.
Salivating foods include acidic fruits (particularly lemon), acidic vegetables (pickles, wild garlic, sauerkraut), various spices, and meat broth.
As well as fiber vegetables. If you hold a slice of cucumber, apple, carrot or celery in your mouth, then salivation will increase.
Saliva enhances the smell and taste of food, due to effects on taste and olfactory receptors, as well as thorough chewing of food.
Chewing gum enhances salivation. The production of saliva during chewing gum increases several times compared with the normal level. The beneficial properties of saliva are used by chewing gum manufacturers in advertising, promoting their product.
Stimulated saliva is no less active than naturally produced.

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Other not very useful irritants that can contribute to increased salivation: problems in the gastrointestinal tract (heartburn, for example), cigarette smoke (those who smoke probably noticed this) - moreover, saliva is actively produced not only by the smoker himself, but those who inhale smoke, drugs, caries, infections of the mouth and larynx, the presence of heavy metals in the body (the effect of toxins).

Saliva is important for the body, but it is important to distinguish between beneficial and harmful saliva. The latter may indicate a problem in the body.
With stress, fear, or dehydration, saliva production decreases dramatically, and during sleep it is almost not released. Many psychotropic drugs inhibit salivation, and some completely block this process.

What are the symptoms and causes of xerostomia

Symptoms of dry mouth are many.

Among them, in addition to the most uncomfortable sensation of dryness of the oral cavity, signs such as:

  • thick, viscous saliva
  • sore throat, especially when swallowing
  • a feeling of "rough" language
  • burning in the mouth
  • bad breath
  • cracks on the lips and in the corners of the mouth
  • taste distortion

These symptoms are usually worse at night. In some cases, it is difficult for a person suffering from increased dry mouth to talk, swallow, chew food. Some people even have edema. Often, such symptoms are accompanied by nausea and even vomiting.

Why does dry mouth syndrome occur? In many people, especially emotional ones, they are sensitive, the productivity of the salivary glands decreases sharply with strong nervous tension. This is a normal physiological situation. After calming down, stress relief, as a rule, saliva production normalizes quite quickly. In this case, do not sound the alarm, this process is considered the norm.

However, often dry mouth also occurs due to a number of diseases, for example, diabetes mellitus, infectious diseases of the oral cavity, as well as due to a stroke

Very often, dry mouth syndrome is only a consequence of taking various medications. It is known that over 400 types of drugs have such a side effect!

Among them are a variety of drugs:

  • painkillers
  • decongestants
  • antihistamines
  • to lower blood pressure
  • diuretic
  • antidepressants, etc.

A side effect manifests itself in different ways, depending on the characteristics of the drug itself and the individual reaction of the patient. It can be weakly expressed, and very strong, causing noticeable discomfort.

If a patient is undergoing treatment for cancer, including chemotherapy and radiation therapy, he may also experience dry mouth syndrome.

How to get rid of xerostomia

If one or more of the symptoms described above occurs, consult your dentist. After examining the oral cavity, it is necessary to answer in detail all the doctor's questions regarding the past diseases, as well as those medications that you have recently taken or are currently taking.

Depending on the causes and degree of development of xerostomia, the dentist will either recommend how to get rid of this unpleasant syndrome, or refer you to a consultation with a doctor of a different profile.

There are many very simple and effective ways by which you can increase the production of saliva and get rid of constant dry mouth. For example, there are special chewing sweets, sugarless gums. When they chew, the work of the salivary glands is stimulated, that is, saliva begins to be actively produced.

You can use mouth moisturizers in the form of sprays, gels or mouthwashes. There are also drugs that stimulate the production of saliva.

They can only be used as prescribed by a doctor, especially if you are taking any other medications or have serious illnesses, such as kidney failure

Finally, the easiest and most effective way is to increase the amount of fluid consumed. It should be drunk little by little, but often. It is best to drink water slightly acidified with lemon juice, or unsweetened tea. You can also suck small pieces of ice.

In addition, for people with dry mouth syndrome, it is advisable to completely abandon the consumption of alcohol, tobacco, as well as sweet carbonated drinks and strong coffee (or at least significantly reduce their consumption).

Keep in mind that with a lack of saliva, tooth enamel is destroyed faster, so you need to pay special attention to brushing your teeth and interdental spaces, and also visit your dentist regularly

Are there any other treatments for dry mouth syndrome? Yes, in the most severe cases of xerostomia, when none of the above methods help, doctors use methods to stimulate nerve endings, acupuncture, etc. There are also data on the use of tissue transplantation and gene technologies as promising methods of treatment, but such methods are rarely used. In any case, you need to find a good doctor for further treatment and observation. Do not try to cure xerostomia yourself, this is fraught with serious complications.

Hormonal adjustment

One of the issues that a doctor is contacting (most often teenagers) is excessive salivation and how to get rid of it. This starts to worry, mainly when the ability to swallow worsens at times. It must be mentioned that this problem has various causes, and therefore treatment methods should be appropriate.

As a rule, people try not to notice inconveniences; they try to swallow saliva more often, hoping that soon the problem will disappear by itself. However, this is far from the most correct approach to eliminating the causes of the disease.

First of all, it is worth noting that one of the most popular reasons for the appearance of this ailment (birdism) is the hormonal restructuring of the body, therefore adolescents, pregnant women and people with thyroid disorders are most often affected.

Hypersalivation often occurs against the background of an imbalance of hormones, which is why it is important not to forget to be checked periodically by a doctor. After all, one of the possible causes of this disease may be diabetes.

As for pregnant women, during the period of bearing a child, an increase in salivation can be the result of toxicosis, or a violation of normal blood circulation. Sometimes it happens that this occurs due to dehydration, in which case the woman is immediately hospitalized.

Nutrition as one of the reasons

Of course, increased salivation can also occur in adults. In this case, pay attention to the consumed products. If the disease is associated with this, then eliminating such a disorder is quite simple. One has only to begin to control their nutrition.

So, for example, it is better to limit sugar-rich foods when there is a problem with excessive salivation. Sweet foods only increase the amount of saliva produced. Sweetened drinks, sweets, baked goods and dairy desserts such as ice cream are also additional sources of sugar in the human diet. Such a diet has other negative health consequences, such as weight gain and excess insulin produced in the body.

Temporary refusal of acidic foods will also help significantly reduce saliva production. Citrus fruits such as lime, lemon and grapefruit have a particularly tart taste and cause hypersecretion. If you are used to such foods, you can replace them with less bitter fruits, such as oranges, ripe peaches or plums. Other foods that you should limit are: vegetables, such as sauerkraut, yoghurts, Greek foods containing vinegar and tamarind. You can easily add them back to your diet as soon as the salivary glands work.

What to include in the diet

It should be noted that the increased consumption of products containing a large amount of dietary fiber has a positive effect on the treatment of this disease.

You may even have noticed a dry mouth after eating whole grain bread. Therefore, special attention should be paid to products such as whole oats, beans and lentils. Fiber helps maintain a healthy digestive system and helps normalize blood sugar.

Body reaction to lifestyle

In older people, this problem may occur in connection with the beginning of wearing dentures. And, as a rule, the body only needs to give a little time to get used to.

But at the expense of stressful situations, opinions differ. Some people think this is normal, especially if you are in a restless state. It's all about the hormones of the adrenal glands, which are activated during stress.

However, not all people have excessive salivation during periods of anxiety and fear, in others this can be expressed as dry mouth, so you should immediately go to the doctor. In some cases, excessive salivation may occur irregularly, but if it starts to bring you some inconvenience, you can try rinsing with soothing solutions of chamomile or oak bark (most often this can be done at home). However, if these methods do not give a sufficient effect, you should still consult a doctor.

Drugs a doctor may prescribe

He may prescribe certain medications to control salivation. The following is a list of prescription drugs that have been used successfully to combat this problem.

  1. Glycopyrrolate 1-2 mg. Also available as an injection - 0.1 mg. The maximum dose is 0.2 mg 4 times / day.
  2. Propantheline bromide 15 mg.
  3. Amitriptyline (Elavil) 10 mg. Available as an injection - from 2 to 5 mg.
  4. Elavil is sometimes used as an antidepressant.
  5. Nortriptyline HCL 10-25 mg.
  6. Scopolamine (taken within 72 hours). Reduces salivation by 75-80%. May lead to glaucoma.

The most common side effects of these medicines are mild sedation, dizziness, difficulty urinating, and tachycardia. However, they manifest themselves extremely rarely.