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Overview

Dry Mouth: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment?

Dry Mouth indicates experiencing an uncomfortable feeling when your mouth generates less saliva. The essentiality of saliva that is inevitable in maintaining a good health fails to work properly. In the beginning you would feel extremely thirsty. Primarily home remedies can improve the situation but if it continues for a longer time span, doctor consultation is required. Often drugs given to treat depression, anxiety, painkillers, diarrhoea usually result in extreme dryness of mouth. However, if the problem remains in improper functioning of salivary glands (may be the result of chemotherapy and radiation), treatments to improve the production of saliva remains the focus.

The treatment of dry mouth generally aims for three areas that includes the result caused by the underlying effects of drugs that result in dry mouth, action against tooth decay and gum protection, proper saliva flow in the mouth. Dry mouth sometimes produces bad breath which is extremely uncomfortable to deal with. It gives u a sticky feeling within your mouth. If you are facing Xerotomia, it is advised to try some home remedies in the primary day. Some of this remedies includes chewing of sugar free gum, sip water from time to time, and restrict your intake of caffeine.

How is the treatment done?

If you experience extreme dryness within your mouth, the best option is to consult a doctor. However, in the beginning it is recommended to follow some home remedies but if it does not show any improvement, you should consult a doctor immediately. The doctor would conduct a check on your medical history and overview the medication you have undergone before. This is because some specific medicines remain the cause of dry mouth. Often the doctor prescribes blood and various other tests that would measure the amount of saliva formation in your mouth. If it is suspected that the dryness is caused due to Sjogren’s syndrome, you might have to send a sample of a cell from your mouth (a salivary gland in your lip) for testing purpose.

On being diagnosed the cause of dry mouth, the doctor may change the medicines that reduce dryness in your mouth. There is availability of numerous mouthwashes in the market especially to treat dryness and enhance moisture. Mouthwashes that comes with xylitol are reviewed to be more effective, products like Act Dry Mouth and Biotene Dry Mouth Oral Rinse are more preferred as it also helps in protecting teeth from decaying. On suffering from dry mouth, you can even visit a dentist as it would provide you with a complete solution to both dry mouth and tooth protection.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

There is no such eligibility for availing dry mouth treatment. It is very common within people. Anyone can face this condition either due to the intake of medicine that stimulates dry mouth, or if affected by Sjogren’s syndrome. However, it is advised to drink enough water throughout out the day. This helps in avoiding dry mouth conditions.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

There lies no such criteria or eligibility for not availing the dry mouth treatment. Dry mouth symptoms can take place in any people of any age group. Person suffering from dry mouth is advised to take treatment.

Are there any side effects?

One of the most prescribed medicine for people with dry mouth condition is Pilocarpine. It helps in stimulating the process of salivary glands. On the other hand, Pilocarpine does not show much effect on patients suffering from dry mouth as a result of radiotherapy.

If you are prescribed to have Pilocarpine by the doctor, you might face some side effects like dizziness, blurred vision, excessive sweating and even a runny nose that is very uncomfortable. The doctors generally prescribe a low dose of Pilocarpine at first and then increase the dosage with the time that enhances the treatment process with least side effects.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

Patients suffering from dry mouth condition should maintain some regular tips in order to avoid further occurrence. It is recommended to keep your mouth clean so that it remains free from plaque and debris. If you fail to clean you might face pain, bleeding, ulceration and get infected. It is beneficial to have drinks frequently thus maintaining the moisture level in your mouth. Always keep a gel wherever you go. Your lip and oral care are very essential. Doctors’ advice to avoid more intake of sugary food and drinking between meals. A sugar free chewing gum is very useful that helps to comply with saliva stimulation.

However, for dental patients, it is advised to spit out the excess proportion of toothpaste post brushing. Even rinsing mouth with water is advised to avoid. Use of silk brushes is useful to patients suffering from excess pain in the mouth. Further, a track with the doctor check-up is extremely necessary for both normal dental patients and people suffering from effects of chemotherapy.

How long does it take to recover?

The recovery span of dry mouth condition remains dependent on its cause. If your dryness is due to side effects of any ongoing drug, it likely stops when you stop taking the medicine. Even for patients with dry mouth due to chemotherapy, the condition gets demolished with the end of chemo treatment. However, in case of Sjogren’s Syndorme that includes malfunctioning of salivary glands, recovery is rare and the patient has to bear it lifelong.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The treatment for dry mouth condition in India depends on the condition of the patient. Basically it involves doctor’s appointment fees, tests if necessary and medication expenses. Even post treatment involves expenses.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Dry mouth conditions are mostly temporary. If properly diagnosed by doctor followed by medication, it gets recovered with time. However, in case of patients suffering from Sjogren’s syndrome, long-term oral medication and treatment may reduce symptoms.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

People suffering from dry mouth condition may try herbal medical processes too. Herbal medication is observed to produce satiating results in treating dry mouth conditions. These herbal include teas made from marshmallows and slippery elm. However, it does not seem to produce many benefits. On the other hand, use of Electroacupuncture (using electrodes to stimulate the acupuncture in the skin) is observed to produce promising benefits for dry mouth conditions.

Safety: Very High Effectiveness: High Timeliness: Medium Relative Risk: Very Low Side Effects: Very Low Time For Recovery: Medium Price Range:

Rs 500- Rs 10,000

Popular Health Tips

Dry Mouth and Eyes - Complications Associated With It!

Diploma In HIV Medicine, MBBS
HIV Specialist, Surat
Dry Mouth and Eyes - Complications Associated With It!

An immune system disorder distinguished by dry mouth and dry eyes is known as Sjogren’s Syndrome. It can also cause dryness in places that require moisture, such as throat, nose and skin. Sjogren’s syndrome is often linked to other diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus (disease in which the immune system destroys its own tissues and causes inflammations). Sjogren’s syndrome normally affects people over the age of 40, and it mostly affects women.

Symptoms 
Sjogren’s syndrome has mainly two symptoms, and they include:

  1. Dry eyes: You feel like there is sand in your eyes as it burns and itches
  2. Dry mouth: You have difficulty speaking or swallowing

Sometimes, you might experience other symptoms as well, such as:

  1. Joint pain, stiffness and swelling
  2. Inflamed salivary glands
  3. Dry skin or skin rashes
  4. Vaginal dryness
  5. Continuous dry coughs
  6. Sustained fatigue

Causes
The exact cause of Sjogren’s syndrome is not known, but research strongly suggests that the autoimmune disease could be caused by genetic factors; especially if the illness has been found in more than one member of the family. Also, families with members suffering from type I diabetes, lupus and autoimmune thyroid disease can cause one or more members of the family to develop Sjogren’s syndrome.


Complications
The complications of Sjogren’s syndrome include:

  1. Dental cavities: Saliva protects the teeth from harmful bacteria that cause cavities. Since your mouth is dry, you become more susceptible to develop cavities.
  2. Yeast infections: Oral thrush, an oral yeast infection, is likely to develop if you have Sjogren’s syndrome.
  3. Vision problems: Dry eyes can cause corneal ulcers, sensitivity and blurred vision.
  4. Problems in the lungs, liver or kidneys: Inflammations can lead to bronchitis or pneumonia in your lungs; may cause cirrhosis or hepatitis C in your liver; and may lead to kidney malfunctions.
  5. Lymphoma: Some people with Sjogren’s syndrome might develop lymphoma, or lymph node cancer.

Peripheral neuropathy: Another complication of this illness is peripheral neuropathy, which is a tingling, burning and numbness sensation felt in your feet and hands.

Treatment
Sjogren’s syndrome is either treated with drugs, or with surgery. Doctors may prescribe drugs to increase the production of saliva and to treat inflammations. Alternatively, surgery is done to either seal the tear ducts or insert silicon or collagen plugs to close the ducts temporarily. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor.

2631 people found this helpful

Side Effects Of Taking Medications In Access

Post-Graduate Certificate in Endodontics, B.D.S
Dentist, Cuttack
Side Effects Of Taking Medications In Access

Taking a large no. of medications often leads to a dry mouth. Increase your fluid intake or ask your dentist about an artifical saliva product or chew sugarless gum after a meal to keep your mouth moist.

Is Mouth-Breathing Bad For My Health?

MD Physician
General Physician, Delhi
Is Mouth-Breathing Bad For My Health?

Nasal congestion (blocked nose) can give you nightmares. The condition often results in people breathing through their mouth. Mouth breathing, once a while (due to factors that affect the nasal breathing) is understood. The main problem arises when people, especially kids continue to breathe through their mouth even under normal conditions. Nasal breathing is what we have learned and practiced all along. Breathing through the nose is a healthy practice that has many health benefits. Any alteration in this habit can have a deleterious effect on the health in the long run. It can alter the body dynamics and mechanisms, necessary for the proper functioning of the body.

Though cold and nasal congestion are the most common causes of mouth breathing, other conditions that often contribute towards this unhealthy postural habit include:

  1. Severe respiratory infections.
  2. Allergies which tend to block the nasal airway (either partial or complete).
  3. Kids who have a habit of sucking their thumbs or fingers are often found to breathe through their mouth.
  4. Sinus, enlarged adenoids or tonsils, hay fever, can also result in mouth breathing.

Harmful effects of mouth breathing
In mouth breathing, there is less absorption of oxygen into the bloodstream as compared to the nasal breathing. This oxygen deprivation can give rise to serious consequences and health problems.

  1. Snoring and sleeping disorders (sleep apnea, often resulting from oxygen deprivation) are common among people who breathe through the mouth. Many people wake up with a terrible headache, feeling tired, irritated, and fatigued (in spite of having their full quota of sleep) in the morning. Unable to have a sound sleep often interfere with the overall performance of the affected person. Low levels of oxygen in the bloodstream can also result in hypertension and cardiac problems. Some people also suffer from brain fog (mental fatigue resulting in confusion and at times, hallucinations).
  2. Dry mouth along with cracked lips is one of the harmful consequences of mouth breathing. Under normal situations, the saliva (in the mouth) prevents the bacteria from thriving within the mouth and causing infections. When the mouth becomes dry (less saliva), bacteria can easily thrive inside, resulting in infections (throat and ear), cavities, bad breath, Gingivitis (gum inflammation brought about by a bacterial infection).
  3. A person with mouth breathing may suffer from digestive problems such as acid reflux, gas, and stomach upsets.
  4. Believe it or not, but mouth breathing can give rise to skeletal and facial deformities (especially in children). The face may appear narrow and long, the chin and jaws lower, and the cheekbones often suppressed. There is also an improper alignment of the teeth (teeth appear crooked).
  5. Mouth breathing can also lead to speech impediments, especially in children between the age group of 4-12 years.

What is Halitosis (Bad Breath)?

BDS
Dentist, Gurgaon
What is Halitosis (Bad Breath)?

Halitosis, commonly known as bad breath, is an embarrassing health condition that affects approximately 30% of people around the world. Additional medical terms for this condition include stomatodysodia, fetor oris, and ozostomia. Regardless of the term used, this is the presence of a foul-smelling odor that seems to come from the mouth cavity. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, in more than 90% of cases, the odor originates in the mouth, throat, and tonsils. Although this is something everyone experiences at one time or another, if your case does not improve after brushing, flossing, and rinsing the mouth with an alcohol free mouthwash, it may be chronic.

The foul oral odor is usually caused by a group of anaerobic, sulfur-producing bacteria that breed beneath the surface of the tongue and often in the throat and tonsil area. The term "anaerobic" literally means living without oxygen, and in fact, these bacteria do not require oxygen to live. They occur naturally in the oral environment and are essential because they assist in digestion by breaking down proteins into amino acids. Proteins are commonly found in food, mucus or phlegm, blood, and in diseased oral tissue.

As these bacteria feast on proteins in your mouth, sulfur compounds are released from the back of your tongue and throat. The bacteria excrete waste as hydrogen sulfide, methyl mercaptan, and other odorous and bad tasting compounds known as volatile sulfur compounds. As long as the anaerobic bacteria feed on proteins and excrete volatile sulfur compounds unchecked, your breath will become worse and worse.

Four Common Bad Breath Causes

There are many underlying causes of halitosis, but four of them are very common.

1. Dry mouth: Xerostomia, the medical term for dry mouth, provides a perfect environment for anaerobic bacteria reproduction. Long periods of speaking, smoking, drinking alcohol, and snoring are a few common underlying causes. Most people experience foul breath in the morning due to lack of saliva production while they sleep. For healthy individuals, food odors are temporary and normal salivary flow will eliminate them within several minutes. However, those who suffer from dry mouth and lack of saliva find that even minor food odors may lead to long-term issues.

2. Foods: Halitosis can be exacerbated by certain foods such as onions and garlic because they contain smelly sulfur compounds, while dairy, meat, and fish contain dense proteins which are used as a food source by the anaerobic, sulfur-producing bacteria. Refined and processed sugars also provide a food source for bacteria. Coffee and juices can contribute to this problem because they are acidic and provide these bacteria with an ideal breeding environment.

3. Poor dental hygiene: Inadequate oral care causes bacterial buildup on the teeth and gums. Teeth cannot shed their surfaces the way skin can, so microorganisms can easily attach to the teeth and remain there for extended periods. If they are not continuously removed by adequate brushing, these bacteria develop into something called biofilm, commonly known as dental plaque. When plaque is allowed to accumulate near the gumline, it will harden and begin destroying teeth and gum tissues due to intense bacterial activity. This leads to gum disease such as gingivitis and periodontitis, which enable proteins from bleeding gums and diseased oral tissue to fuel odor-causing bacteria. Tooth decay and poorly fitting or dirty dentures can also contribute to this problem.

4. Illness and disease: According to studies, an estimated 10% of all halitosis cases are caused by certain illnesses. Individuals who suffer from diabetes, lung disease, kidney disease, cancer, liver disease, respiratory tract infections, or metabolic disorders often experience chronic foul breath due to dry mouth. Sinusitis, pneumonia, bronchitis, postnasal drip, and polyps affect the airways and may also contribute to the problem. Other common illnesses associated with bad breath include nasal odor and tonsil stones, yeast infections of the mouth, and gum disease. Certain drugs such as antidepressants, high blood pressure medications, and antihistamines can factor into dry mouth because they reduce saliva production.

Please Note: Halitosis is rarely associated with life-threatening diseases. However, it is important that you consult your doctor or dentist as soon as you notice consistent white spots on the tonsils and sores in the mouth with or without a fever. Sometimes bad breath is triggered by severe health conditions such as throat or mouth cancers, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, digestive system disorders, or diabetes – and further, can indicate dehydration or zinc deficiency. Taking proper care of your teeth and visiting the dentist at least twice a year are the easiest ways to avoid these issues.

Halitosis Symptoms

Offensive breath tells us that something is out of balance. In fact, anthropologists have reported that once humans started to kiss each other, the ability to smell one another's breath became a very important way to test a partner's compatibility. If the other person didn't pass the smell test, they were not able to get to the next step towards securing a mate.

Halitosis is a medical condition that lowers self-esteem and affects everyday life and personal relationships. People with chronic or recurring bad breath often lose their self-confidence. It can be difficult to know if you have this problem, because it is often challenging to pick up on one's own scent. Furthermore, family members and colleagues may not feel comfortable telling you. One of the best ways to find out if you have foul breath is to lick the inside of your wrist, wait five seconds, and then take a whiff.

Most symptoms of halitosis depend on the underlying cause. The most common symptoms include postnasal drip, a bitter metallic taste, a white coating on the tongue, and thick saliva. Many individuals who have foul breath associated with dry mouth can experience difficulty speaking or swallowing, a burning sensation in the mouth, or dry eyes. Fever, sore throat, persistent cough, and swollen lymph nodes in the neck indicate respiratory tract infections, which can also be a contributing factor.

Getting a Proper Diagnosis

The best way to truly identify the source of chronic halitosis is to visit a dentist or doctor for a professional diagnosis. When you are ready to tackle this situation, be sure to be open and honest with the healthcare professional performing the examination. It is important for him or her to understand all the health problems you are experiencing in order to determine the underlying cause and recommend appropriate treatment.

The Halimeter (also known as a portable sulfide gas monitor) is the most commonly used clinical diagnostic instrument utilized in this field. It measures the concentration of hydrogen sulfide in parts per billion (ppb) in mouth air. The Halimeter uses a patented electrochemical voltammetric sensor, which has provided reproducible results to clinicians for the past 20 years.

Getting Proper Treatment

For more than a century, pharmaceutical companies attempted to alleviate halitosis by using mouthwash that contained alcohol. This is the exact opposite of what should be done because alcohol is a drying agent. Clinicians have learned a good deal in the ensuing years, and in most cases, this condition can be successfully treated. Like the symptoms, treatment depends on the underlying cause.

It is important to keep in mind that you cannot eliminate the bacteria from the tongue that cause bad breath. Consequently, scraping or brushing the tongue is a temporary remedy at best, and is typically frustrating for those who believe tongue scraping or tongue brushing is a permanent solution. The bacteria that cause this are part of your normal oral flora and are essential to breaking down proteins, a key step in normal digestion.

A much simpler and clinically-proven method to treat bad breath is to interrupt the bacteria's chemical production of odors by introducing oxygenating compounds to your oral environment. Oxygen is the natural enemy of the bacteria that cause this problem because they are anaerobes and cannot function in the presence of oxygen.

In general, a dentist will recommend mouthwashes and toothpastes that contain oxygenating agents such as chlorine dioxide or sodium chlorite to neutralize volatile sulfur compounds and help control odor causing bacteria found in the mouth.

If you are experiencing mouth dryness, your dentist will recommend a saliva substitute to moisten the mouth throughout the day. Some effective, natural ingredients to look for in oral care products are zinc gluconate, aloe vera, green tea, tea tree oil, xylitol, CoQ10, glycyrrhizic acid and oral probiotics like K12 and M18.

Six Bad Breath Home Remedies

The practice of a few, simple, self-care techniques can help to minimize halitosis. There are several things you can do at home.

  • Advanced oral care products: Use oral care products such as mouthwashes and toothpastes that have been shown to be effective in fighting bad breath.
  • Proper oral care: Brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day. Be sure to get a toothbrush with soft bristles (as to not damage tooth enamel or gums) and also use fluoride toothpaste. Brushing and flossing helps to remove any food and plaque which can be used as a fuel source by the anaerobic, sulfur-producing bacteria that are at the root of this problem.
  • Stimulate your salivary flow: Prevent dry mouth with chewing gum, lozenges, or mints that are sugar free. Look for Xylitol, a non-sucrose sweetener, which in recent years has been shown to have anti-cavity properties.
  • Eat fibrous fruits and vegetables: One of the best ways to remove bacteria in the mouth is to eat an apple a day. It helps moisten the mouth, too.
  • Take a dietary supplement: Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, and Vitamin B are effective at helping your body eliminate excess mucus and toxins naturally.
  • Brush your teeth occasionally with baking soda: The bacteria that cause bad breath thrive in an acidic oral environment. Brushing your teeth with baking soda helps neutralize excess acids found in the oral cavity.

12 Easy Ways to Prevent Bad Breath

Please remember, preventing halitosis is always easier than treating it. By developing the right habits, you can effectively help prevent it.

  • Eat foods rich in fiber: High fiber foods help prevent halitosis. Avoid eating heavily processed foods that contain refined carbohydrates such as cookies, cakes, sweets and ice cream.
  • Use mouthwash: Some mouthwashes or oral rinses are effective at preventing bad breath. However, you should never use alcohol based mouthwashes because the alcohol makes the mouth very dry, which will actually make the problem worse.
  • Drink green and black teas: They contain polyphenols that help eliminate sulfur compounds and reduce oral bacteria.
  • Avoid drying medication: Try not to take antidepressants, diuretics, pain relievers, and antihistamines unless it is absolutely medically necessary. These drugs inhibit saliva flow and can cause chronic dry mouth.
  • Avoid products with sodium lauryl sulfate or alcohol: Do not use any oral hygiene products that contain sodium lauryl sulfate or alcohol because the alcohol makes the mouth very dry, one of the most common causes of bad breath.
  • Clean your mouth after eating meat, fish or dairy products: Practicing consistent and thorough oral hygiene is an effective prevention tool.
  • Stop smoking: Studies have shown that smokers are at higher risk of developing periodontal disease and dry mouth. Furthermore, people who smoke may also engage in other habits that promote this condition such as dieting, drinking alcohol, and suffering from chronic anxiety conditions that require exacerbating prescription medications.
  • Breathe through your nose instead of your mouth: Try to address any snoring or sleep apnea issues that could be affecting your breath and causing dry mouth.
  • Drink water: Keep your mouth moist by drinking plenty of water.
  • Clean your dentures at least once a day: Practice the same, proper oral care that you would with your original teeth.
  • Eliminate dairy products from your diet: Lactose intolerance can be an underlying cause of halitosis.
  • Use an oral probiotic like S. salivarius K12 and M18: Use probiotics to balance the oral cavity and prevent an overgrowth of the odor-causing bacteria involved in halitosis.
6 people found this helpful

How To Get A Rid Of Dry Mouth

Post-Graduate Certificate in Endodontics, B.D.S
Dentist, Cuttack
How To Get A Rid Of Dry Mouth

Taking a large no. Of medications often leads to a dry mouth. Increase your fluid intake or ask your dentist about an artifical saliva product or chew sugarless gum after a meal to keep your mouth moist.

Popular Questions & Answers

Nowadays I always feel thirsty. Even after drinking water I feel thirsty. Usually my mouth and throat remains dry. Is this normal?

PhD, Human Energy Fields, Diploma in PIP, EFI, Aura scanning for Health evaluation; Energy field assessment, Fellowship Cardiac Rehabilitation, Cardiac Rehabilitation, MD (Ayur - Mind Body Med), Mind Body Medicine
Non-Invasive Conservative Cardiac Care Specialist, Pune
Dear Please take a blood test to see diabetes and livr function. This will help in natural treatment. Also, drink water slowly. It will help. Regard.
5 people found this helpful

I have anxiety disorder and these days i've been having really bad ache - more like tightening over my left and and center side of the chest. Its only for like 5 to 10 minutes but very painful. There would be shortness of breath and heart palpitations. I constantly also have dry mouth these days - so dry that even my tongue hurts (its not because of the climate because my skin does not feel dry). Im breathless and dizzy with the slightest of work. I know its anxiety but what should I do?

MD - Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, Chennai
Occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. You might feel anxious when faced with a problem at work, before taking a test, or making an important decision. But anxiety disorders involve more than temporary worry or fear. For a person with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety does not go away and can get worse over time. Restlessness or feeling wound-up or on edge being easily fatigued difficulty concentrating or having their minds go blank irritability muscle tension difficulty controlling the worry sleep problems (difficulty falling or staying asleep or restless, unsatisfying sleep) these are some of the symptoms. U seem to be having anxiety disorder, kindly consult a psychiatrist and get treated.
2 people found this helpful

I am 40 years old, lived in Lucknow My problem is that I am suffering mouth fibrosis because of gul manjan which I am using from many years. Now I determined to quit tobacco. Pls suggest me the precautions by which I get rid of fibrosis.

MDS - Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, MDS in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Oral And Maxillofacial Surgeon, Bangalore
Sir, the condition what you are suffering from is termed as oral submucous fibrosis (osmf). Progression of this condition can be staged as Stage 1- mouth opening > 20 mm Stage 2- mouth opening Edit A

Table of Content

What is the treatment?
How is the treatment done?
Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)
Who is not eligible for the treatment?
Are there any side effects?
What are the post-treatment guidelines?
How long does it take to recover?
What is the price of the treatment in India?
Are the results of the treatment permanent?
What are the alternatives to the treatment?