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When the salivary glands do not produce enough saliva, the mouth gets dry and uncomfortable. Due to certain conditions, such a phenomenon can occur and this condition is known as dry mouth or xerostomia. Xerostomia or dry mouth can occur due to multiple reasons. Read on more to find all about the different causes and symptoms of dry mouth.
- Side effects of certain medications: Dry mouth occurs due to the effect of certain prescription and nonprescription medications. Drugs used to treat depression, pain, allergies, anxiety, epilepsy, obesity, nausea and psychotic disorders can cause dry mouth condition as a side effect. Sedatives and muscle relaxers can also cause dry mouth.
- Side effects of certain disease and infections: Certain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, mumps, diabetes, hypertension, cystic fibrosis, anemia and Parkinson’s disease can also cause dry mouth or xerostomia.
- Side effect of treatments: If the salivary glands are damaged due to certain reasons, then less saliva is secreted resulting in dry mouth. Certain treatments such as radiation treatments in the head and neck or chemotherapy sessions could indirectly cause dry mouth by damaging the salivary glands.
- Nerve damage: Dry mouth can also be due to a person suffering from nerve damage caused due to accident or surgery.
- Dehydration: Conditions like fever, excessive vomiting, diarrhea, excessive sweating, which cause dehydration can also cause dry mouth.
- Removal of salivary glands: Surgical removal of the salivary glands also causes dry mouth.
- Lifestyle choices: Certain lifestyle preferences such as chewing tobacco or smoking can cause dry mouth.
Dry mouth has several symptoms. If you have some or all of the symptoms mentioned below, then you are more than likely suffering from dry mouth.
- A sticky and dry feeling in the mouth.
- The frequent feeling of being thirsty.
- A dry, parched feeling in the throat.
- The tongue being dry, raw and red.
- There is discomfort and problem while you are speaking or experiencing problems with chewing, tasting or swallowing food.
- Experiencing dry nasal passages, a sore throat or hoarseness in the voice.
- A tingling or slightly burning sensation in the mouth but particularly in the tongue.
- Having a bad breath.
If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dentist.
Proper brushing takes at least two minutes — that's right, 120 seconds! Most adults do not come close to brushing that long. To get a feel for the time involved, try using a stopwatch. To properly brush your teeth, use short, gentle strokes, paying extra attention to the gumline, hard-to-reach back teeth and areas around fillings, crowns or other restoration. Concentrate on thoroughly cleaning each section as follows:
B1 Tilt the brush at a 45° angle against the gumline and sweep or roll the brush away from the gumline
B2Gently brush the outside, inside and chewing surface of each tooth using short back-and-forth strokes.
B3Gently brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen breath.
Clean the outer surfaces of your upper teeth, then your lower teeth
Clean the inner surfaces of your upper teeth, then your lower teeth
Clean the chewing surfaces
For fresher breath, be sure to brush your tongue, too
Frequency of brushing-
Studies have shown that brushing once a day in preschool settings, using a fluoride toothpaste will prevent cavities. Families should be encouraged to brush additional times at
home. Brushing before bedtime is especially important, in order to prevent plaque and food particles remaining in contact with the teeth throughout the night.
You should replace your toothbrush when it begins to show wear, or every three months, whichever comes first. It is also very important to change toothbrushes after you've had a cold, since the bristles can collect germs that can lead to reinfection.
Electric power brush-
PBRAn electric toothbrush is a toothbrush that uses electric power supplied usually by a battery to move the brush head rapidly, either oscillating side to side, or rotation-oscillation (where brush heads rotate in one direction and then the other).
ADVANTAGES OF AN ELECTRIC POWER BRUSH
7.Proven Long-Term Results
Flossing in addition to toothbrushing can reduce gingivitis and halitosis compared to toothbrushing alone.
FLOSDental floss is a bundle of thin filaments used to remove food and dental plaque from teeth. The floss is gently inserted between the teeth and scraped along the teeth sides, especially close to the gums or underneath them. Dental floss may be made of either plastic (nylon, PTFE or polyethylene) or silk, and can be flavored or unflavored, and waxed or unwaxed. An alternative tool to achieve the same effect is the interdental brush.
Advantages of flossing
ØProper flossing removes plaque and food particles in places where a toothbrush cannot reach- under the gum-line and between the teeth.
ØDaily flossing is recommended because plaque build-up can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
ØIt stimulates gums, polishes tooth surfaces, reduces gum bleeding and prevents gum disease.
Start with about 18 inches of floss, wind most of the floss around each middle finger, leaving an inch or two of floss to work with.
ØHold the floss tautly between your thumbs and index fingers, slide it gently up-and- down between your teeth.
ØGently curve the floss around the base of each tooth using a seesaw motion, making sure you go beneath the gum-line. Never snap or force the floss, as this may cut or bruise delicate gum tissue.
ØCurve the floss around the side of one tooth, forming a 'C' shape and rub the floss up and down to clean the tooth. Repeat the procedure in the opposite direction i.e. on the adjacent tooth.
ØUse clean sections of floss as you move from tooth to tooth.
ØTo remove the floss, use the same back-and-forth motion to bring the floss up and away from the teeth.
Floss holders are also available and can be used in the difficult to reach areas.
MWMouthwash or mouth rinse is a chemotherapeutic agent used as an effective home care system by the patient to enhance oral hygiene.
A mouthwash is a flavored liquid that people use to rinse out their mouths before or after brushing their teeth. Some individuals may also rinse with mouthwash between brushings, particularly after eating foods that may cause a person to have bad breath. Mouthwash typically emphasize the treatment and prevention of halitosis as one of the many benefits of mouthwash. Mouthwash can be effective at combating bad breath.
ØBacteria in the mouth can also cause foul-smelling breath. Many antiseptic mouthwash products claim to kill the germs that cause bad breath.
ØSome mouthwash products are designed to help heal sores or irritation after oral surgery.