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Dry mouth means you don't have enough saliva, or spit, to keep your mouth moist. Everyone has a dry mouth once in a while, especially if you're nervous, upset or under stress. But if you have a dry mouth all or most of the time, it can be uncomfortable and can lead to more serious health problems or indicate that a more serious medical condition may exist. That's because saliva does more than just keep the mouth wet-it helps digest food, protects teeth from decay, prevents infection by controlling bacteria in the mouth, and makes it possible for you to chew and swallow.
here are several reasons that the glands that produce saliva, called the salivary glands, might not function properly. These include:
Everyone's mouth feels dry from time to time. It's when this feeling doesn't go away that you may have a problem with saliva production. Symptoms of dry mouth include:
The only permanent way to cure dry mouth is to treat its cause. If your dry mouth is the result of medication, your doctor might change your prescription or your dosage. If your salivary glands are not working properly but still produce some saliva, your doctor might give you a medicine that helps the glands work better.
If the cause of your dry mouth cannot be eliminated, or until it can be, you can restore moisture to your mouth a number of different ways. Your dentist may recommend mouth moisturizers, such as a saliva substitute. Rinsing with mouthwashes specially formulated to help dry mouth may also bring relief. You can also: