Why is my mouth dry

Dry mouth: what helps if there is no saliva?

Status: 02/11/2020 12:36 p.m. | archive
First aid for dry mouth: A sip of water moisturizes the mucous membranes.

Around half of those over 65 years old suffer from dry mouth as a result of insufficient saliva production. Doctors speak of oligostomy or xerstostomia. This is more than just uncomfortable and can lead to difficulty swallowing, dental problems and constant coughing. Various home remedies can help.

Symptoms of dry mouth

The following symptoms are typical of dry mouth:

  • Problems speaking
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Burning lips and tongue
  • Bad breath
  • sticky deposits in the corners of the mouth
  • cracked corners of the mouth and lips
  • small wounds in the oral cavity that are difficult to heal

If you have a dry mouth for more than two weeks, you should see your family doctor or ENT doctor so that serious causes can be ruled out and long-term consequences avoided.

Why saliva is so important

Saliva consists of 99 percent water, but contains important mucus and minerals, salts and proteins such as enzymes and antibodies.

The body produces up to 1.5 liters of saliva per day - in the large salivary glands in the ears, lower jaw and under the tongue, as well as in countless small salivary glands in the mouth. The most important tasks:

  • The saliva begins in the oral cavity digestion: Enzymes break down the starch in the food, everything chewed becomes pulp and can be swallowed.
  • In addition, the saliva protects the Oral mucosa against inflammation: germs are swallowed and made harmless by stomach acid.
  • The saliva is particularly important for teeth and our Gums: It hardens the teeth and protects them from acid.

A lack of saliva can promote tooth decay and periodontal disease. There is bad breath and problems with the so-called teeth holding apparatus.

Causes of Dry Mouth

The causes of dryness of the oral mucosa are diverse:

  • Dehydration
  • dry air
  • cold
  • Sinus infection
  • in women, declining estrogen production during menopause
  • Sjogren's syndrome - a chronic inflammatory reaction leads to the destruction of the tear and salivary glands
  • Metabolic diseases such as diabetes mellitus
  • Inflammation of the salivary glands
  • Side effects of drugs: Heart and blood pressure drugs such as beta blockers and ACE inhibitors, strong pain relievers, asthma sprays containing cortisone, sedatives and sleeping pills, psychotropic drugs such as antidepressants and neuroleptics
  • Smoke
  • snoring
  • Stress, excitement and stage fright
  • Salivary gland tumor
  • Salivary stones
  • Radiation due to cancer

Promote salivation in case of dry mouth

There are a few tips for everyday life to alleviate the symptoms.

Avoid dehydration:

  • Drink at least two liters a day, preferably non-carbonated water, unsweetened teas, juice spritzers or non-alcoholic beer
  • do without coffee and alcohol
  • do not eat heavily salted foods as they draw water out of the mucous membrane

Promote salivation:

  • to chew bubble gum
  • Suck sour candy or the tip of a spoonful of butter
  • Chew the fennel seeds or ginger roots

Protect oral mucosa:

  • Gargle with sage tea
  • thorough oral hygiene
  • artificial saliva

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Experts on the subject

Dr. G√ľnter Fritzsche
Dentist dr. Fritzsche and team
Jungfernstieg 49
20354 Hamburg
(040) 41 11 31 11

Dr. Sylvia Brockhaus, ENT specialist in allergology
Tram ring 3
20251 Hamburg
(040) 89 72 13 31

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Visit | 02/11/2020 | 8:15 pm