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Date :14/05/2015

If you were to count the number of times you’ve been stressed out or left high-strung, for any reason whatsoever, you’re sure to run out of fingers (and toes!). And a good number of times during these instances, your mouth goes dry. Well, while in the throes of anxiety it does seem really minute, but stress today is one of the most common triggering factors for dry mouth or xerostomia.

Xerostomia:causes and effectsApartfrom anxiety, situational or otherwise, fear and depression, dry mouth as a symptom is caused by certain drugs like antihistaminics, antidepressants,atropine etc., by pathologic conditions like sarcoidosis, Sjogren’s syndrome etc., diabetes mellitus, anorexia nervosa and radiation treatment for oral cancer among others

As a result of dry mouth there is:

* Increased risk of dental decay due to lack of production of saliva

*Altered taste sensation due to reduction in the number of taste buds

*Halitosis or bad breath

* Incoherent speech

What can be done:

If you’re frequently encountering a dry mouth, first of all try and find out what could be triggering it. Control stress with yoga, meditation or just about anything you find relaxing. Consult your doctor and get a blood picture done to rule out diabetes and other internal complications. Take meticulous care of oral hygiene and with guidance from your dentist, use fluoride mouth rinses to prevent the rapid spread of dental caries. For people taking radiation treatment or under certain medications, the use of artificial saliva or the use of sialagogues, which stimulate salivary secretion, provide long-term benefits

The author is dental surgeon and can be contacted at ALL SMILES DENTAL CLINIC, 26673439, 9845085230.


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