Saliva is necessary to moisten and cleanse the mouth and for digestion. Saliva is a natural antiseptic that inhibits oral bacteria and fungi. But there are situations when the salivary glands do not secrete adequate saliva. In such situations an individual suffers from dry mouth, an uncomfortable feeling.
Dry mouth is also indicative of certain conditions and diseases. It has long been associated with aging, but this is a misconception. Dry mouth has a number of side effects like:
- Difficulty in swallowing, chewing, tasting and speaking.
- Leads to dental decay and other oral infections.
Possible causes of dry mouth are:
- Certain diseases that affect the salivary glands like Parkinsons, Sjögren's Syndrome, HIV AIDS and diabetes.
- Radiation and chemotherapy.
- Nerve damage cause by an injury to the head or neck which affects the nerves connected to the salivary glands.
- Side effects of over 500 medicines that inhibit the capacity of the salivary glands. Some such diseases for which such prescription and non-prescription drugs are prescribed are; urinary incontinence, asthma (certain bronchodilators), and Parkinson's disease, depression, anxiety, pain, allergies, and colds (antihistamines and decongestants), obesity, acne, epilepsy, hypertension (diuretics), diarrhea, nausea, psychotic disorders.
Urinary incontinence includes some kinds of bladder disease. However, it cannot be assumed that all medicines prescribed for bladder disease cause dry mouth. A reference would have to be made to the composition to determine that.
In such a situation, if the patient finds the condition intolerable, the doctor might change the medicine or adjust the dosage appropriately.
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