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Inadequate flow of saliva makes the mouth feel dry hence the name 'Dry Mouth' or Xerostomia

The functions of saliva include:
1. Maintains oral hygiene by washing food debris from the teeth and corners of the mouth.
2. Aids adhesion of dentures (artificial teeth) to the oral tissues
3. Prevents tooth decay by reducing the acidic effects on the teeth
4. Prevents Trauma (sores) by lubricating the surfaces of the mouth during movement of the mouth such as when talking, and eating
5. Helps in easy digestion of food

Causes of Dry Mouth
It is important to note that dry mouth is not a disease itself. These causes include:
1. A Side Effect of some medical conditions such as anaemia, ‘Sjogren’s syndrome’, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, mumps etc
2. Dehydration: conditions that lead to dehydration such as fever, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive sweating, blood loss etc
3. Side effect of some medications such as: antihistamines, diuretics, antidepressants, tranquillizers, etc
4. Side effect of some medical treatments such as: chemotherapy and radiotherapy (to the head and neck), removal of the glands that produce saliva etc
5. Mouth breathing
6. Tobacco use
Drink plenty of water.
Adjusting the dose/ changing medication in cases where the cause is the use of medications.
Breathing through the nose instead of the mouth.
Use of drugs (Sialogogue) which helps the stimulation of saliva.
Chewing sugar free gum
Use of artificial saliva

Mr A
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