Saliva is a crucial component of the mouth that keeps a person healthy. It does not only affect oral hygiene, combats mouth infections, and lets people enjoy yummy foods. In fact, this apparently insignificant component does wonders to health, which can only be realized by those who lack adequate and natural formation of saliva.
Lack of saliva production leads to dry mouth, this phenomenon is called Xerostomia. It can be thought of as a disease because not only does the patient face difficulty in chewing and swallowing food, dry mouth leads to oral infections too. The taste buds also work with the help of saliva. Those who suffer from Xerostomia eat for the sake of bodily needs; they can't actually taste the varying flavors.
Saliva is basically a composition of several enzymes that fight oral infections, prevent tooth decay, and keep bacteria away. Food particles left in the mouth are also removed by saliva so that plaque and bad breath can be avoided. However, sufferers of dry mouth lack these natural benefits.
There are a number of symptoms of dry mouth. For instance, patients have sores at the corners of lips, feel thirsty frequently, and have bad breath. Complaints of dry throats and tongues, blocked nasal cavities, husky voices, and wrinkled lips are also common. Patients also suffer from redness in tongue; they have a burning feeling inside the mouth.
Xerostomia is usually caused by excessive medication. Therefore, it is said to be a side effect. There are hundreds of prescription medicines that have been proved to cause Xerostomia; for instance, anti depressants, decongestants, anti-anxiety, anti-diarrheal medication. The reason that aged and elderly people often have dry mouths is because they take multiple prescription medicines. In addition, smokers and users of chemotherapies also complain about dry mouth due to the adverse effects of tobacco and radiation respectively.
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