Definition, causes and course of disease of dry mouth
Dry mouth occurs relatively often. Experts estimate that about 20 percent of all Germans suffer from it. If the spit literally stays away, it can have unpleasant consequences. Because dry mouth due to insufficient saliva is one of the causes that can increasingly form plaque. And that favors gingivitis and tooth decay . But not only the dental health is endangered - dysphagia, taste disorders and bad breath can be further consequences of dry mouth . A healthy person produces between 1 and 1.5 liters of saliva every day. Its most important protective functions: it inhibits the colonization of bacteria on teeth and gums, neutralizes acids that would otherwise attack the tooth substance and strengthens the tooth enamel by its calcium and phosphate content. The causes are manifold: Dry mouth can be a concomitant of certain diseases, such as diabetes or arthritis. Often it is medications such as antihypertensive agents, painkillers, antibiotics or psychotropic drugs, which have as a side effect a reduction in salivation. Here the family doctor can decide whether the change to another remedy is possible. However, smokers and the elderly are also affected. With them the diagnosis is usually simple: they absorb too little fluid.
In the first place, it is important for dry mouth to drink enough, so 1.5 to 2 liters a day. Be careful with coffee: In some cases, it promotes dry mouth . Good for the salivation is strong chewing. A "chewing" food is therefore better for the teeth than soft food. Also, sugar-free chewing gum or sugar-free sweets stimulate saliva production. If these measures are not enough, over-the-counter oral sprays from the pharmacy (for example "Saseem") can help. In severe cases of dry mouth, the doctor may prescribe tablets containing the active ingredient pilocarpine.
Prevention and self-help
You should drink at least 1.5 to 2 liters per day as a preventative measure against dry mouth - with that you also do something good for your overall health. Coffee or black tea can promote dry mouth. Therefore, one should avoid these drinks, if one tends to dry mouth. Avoid too soft food. Better are foods that have to be chewed well. This stimulates salivation. In addition, one can prevent dry mouth by chewing sugar-free chewing gum or sugar-free sweets, as these also stimulate salivary products.