✟✡✠☛✄✝✆✞☞✌✁✎✍✏✁ DRY MOUTH (XEROSTOMIA)
what is it, what causes it, how to avoid or to remedy it?

What do I need to know about dry mouth ?
The dry mouth
is known, in the health area , as xerostomy - it is caused by the decrease in the saliva
production. It attacks, with intensity and variable duration, a great number of people and its causes can
vary considerably. Examples of causes are:
The advanced age (with the passing of the age, the salivation glands atrophy).
The collateral effect of certain medicines, such as anti-hipertensives, antidepressives, tranquilizers,
antihistamines and anticolinergics.
Habits and addictions, as the alcoholism and the ingestion of food rich in caffeine.
The Syndrome of Sjögren, in which the own person's organism reacts against the salivation glands.
The diabetes mellitus, in which the dry mouth is a frequent discovery.
Cancers in head's area and neck’s (the people that are treated with radiotherapy can have the glands
affected permanently by the radiation).
Psychiatric problems (certain psychoses and anxiety states can cause saliva lack).
Congenital diseases: people that are born without the salivation glands (congenital agenesia).
Why is the saliva so important?
The saliva has an important role in the formation of the alimentary cake, favoring the digestion and
deglutition; it provides a physical-mechanic wash, facilitating a better movement of the tongu and other
muscles; it acts in the protection of the mucous membrane of the mouth; it controls the buccal microbiota;
it establishes and it maintains the pH , acting in the process of the dental decay.
What is the saliva exactly?
The saliva presents a neutral pH and is composed by 99% of water. The other part is constituted by
proteins, as enzymes, responsible imunoglobulinas for the antibodies salivate, besides other
substances, like bicarbonate, sodium, potassium, calcium, chloride and fluor.
What can the dry mouth cause?
Decays, candidiases (fungus disease), gum diseases and infections in the salivation glands.
Which are the symptoms?
With the saliva lack, the individual can have bad breath, difficulties to speak and to swallow, intolerance
to prostheses, pain in the tongue, loss of the palate and voice alteration.
Which the suitable treatment?
The first step for the treatment is the correct diagnosis: the patient who notices the signs and symptoms
associated to the dry mouth should seek the surgeon-dentist.
The treatments vary acording to the cause: if the xerostomia has a medicine origin , the surgeon-dentist
should enter in contact with the patient's doctor to study the possibility of substitution of the medicine by
another one that doesn't affect the saliva production. In the cases of irreversible loss of the saliva
production (radiation, Syndrome of Sjögren, advanced age, congenital agenesia), the possibility exists of
minimizing the problem with the use of manipulated or commercial artificial saliva, gums of chewing
without sugar and medicines that stimulate the salivation, besides the orientation regarding to the diet
with proteins and vitamins.
Consultórios e Laboratório Prótese
Av. Paulista, 326, 14º and. Cj. 140 e 13º.and -Cj. 130 / 131 - São Paulo - S.P. - Tel (011) 3284-0839 - Tel / Fax 3284-1863 HOMEPAGE: http:// - E-MAIL:[email protected] ✟✡✠☛✄✝✆✞☞✌✁✎✍✏✁ The patient with xerostomia, regardless the cause, should be followed up by the professional in smaller intervals for orientation of constant oral hygiene, fluor application and basic gum treatment. The patient should always stay well moisturized, ingesting water or other drink without sugar and avoiding the consumption of drinks with alcohol or caffeine. If the lips are dry, the use of lubricants can be indicated in vaseline basis. During the meals, soft and humid food should be preferred and little seasoned. In the cases where there is also fungi infections, the professional can indicate mouthwash with antifungi. Consultórios e Laboratório Prótese
Av. Paulista, 326, 14º and. Cj. 140 e 13º.and -Cj. 130 / 131 - São Paulo - S.P. - Tel (011) 3284-0839 - Tel / Fax 3284-1863 HOMEPAGE: http:// - E-MAIL:[email protected]


Cap. 6

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