Dry Mouth Bad Breath -
Dry Mouth, also known as Xerostomia is a common symptom and one of the main causes of Bad Breath or Halitosis. Xerostomia is usually caused due to ageing, medications, reduction in the fluid intake, use of alcohol based mouth rinses. Medications for allergies, depression, blood pressure and diuretics also cause Xerostomia. Coffee can be called a diuretic. In some unusual cases, radiation treatment to head and neck areas, Sjogrens Syndrome, Diabetes and other auto-immune diseases may also cause this condition. Along with bad breath, Xerostomia also causes bad tastes (like bitter, sour or even metallic tastes) in the mouth. Dry mouth condition cannot be completely eliminated, however, eliminating this problem to some extent still helps in treating Halitosis effectively.
Dry Mouth - Its relationship to Bad Breath and Bad Tastes -
Saliva, an important part of oral health produces enzymes to help digestion of food, helps in keeping the acid / base balance and also supplies high oxygen levels for keeping the oral tissues healthy and fresh. In Xerostomia, there is less saliva in the mouth, meaning less oxygen creating an anaerobic environment helpful for the sulphur-producing bacterial growth. These bacteria produce sulphur resulting in bad breath and bad tastes.
In some people, 'hairy tongue' (the fibers of the tongue (called papillae) are slightly longer in these people) trap more bacteria increasing the chances of Halitosis and bad tastes.
Sometimes, the tongue becomes very dry or due to extra scraping or brushing of the tongue, the outer layer of the tongue becomes very sensitive causing dry mouth condition. Another condition, "Burning Tongue Syndrome" usually found in the elderly is also another factor causing the dry mouth.
Solution / Treatment for dry mouth condition -
Sufficient intake of fluids, especially water (at least eight glasses water has to be consumed daily) is necessary. These days many products claim that they can eliminate the Halitosis problem, but very few are actually effective. Sugarless gums can be chewed to increase the salivary flow in the mouth. Avoiding dry mouth aids, oral products, coffee, smoking, citrus juices also helps. There are medications available for stimulating the salivary glands to produce oxygen rich saliva to treat Xerostomia.
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