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Xerostomia - Dry Mouth

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Xerostomia is the effect of subjective dryness of the mouth due to the loss of saliva, occasioned by a variation in the operation of the salivary glands.

The presence of saliva in the mouth is of utmost importance due to the fact that this keeps moisture in the oral tissues, improve speech, chewing, swallowing, among others. In addition, it provides cleaning the oral cavity.

It also helps in the control of bacteria in the mouth, since when you have an appropriate level of saliva creates a balance in the microorganisms found in the oral environment, thus preventing the onset of tooth decay, halitosis, or bad breath, gum disease, etc

This condition is seen in one out of every five adults, which is 20% of the adult population between the ages of 18 and 30 years, and 40% in adults older than 50 years.

It should be noted that affected more women than men, this being a clinical situation that undermines the overall health and quality of life.

Xerostomía

Origin and types of Xerostomia

 Xerostomia while it generates immense discomfort in the oral cavity of the people who suffer from it, it should be understood that it is not a disease but a clinical condition, which is suffered due to multiple causes.

For the understanding of this complicated situation must be considered, that because of the level of activity glandular creates two types:

  • The Reversible: it is characterized by generating a record of activity glandular residual, in this case the saliva tries to be regulated or balanced. To produce this type of effect xerostomizante should include medications, chemotherapeutic, habit of smoking, among others.
  • The Irreversible: it is when there is a damage that cannot be repaired in the area glandular which does not allow the operation.

This condition can be found in people diagnosed with Sjögren's syndrome or those who suffer from cancer in the neck or on the head which are treated with a high dose of radiation.

Causes of Xerostomia

This clinical situation can be generated for a variety of reasons and here are the most common:

  • Regularly interact in public, the need of salivation was seen in the rise and in order to provide a better vocalization of the words and lengthen the time this manages to induce the absence of saliva, and the need for fluid intake.
  • Depression, stress and anxiety are factors that affect the central nervous system because this affected different organs and various glands, including the salivary.
  • Systemic diseases such as diabetes also affect in a direct way the agency making the alteration of the functioning of the glands and causing the dry mouth.
  • There are therapies with certain drugs that have side effects in the reduction of the saliva up in the atrophy of the glands of the mucosa, these are antihistamines, diuretics, antihypertensives, and oncology drugs.
  • Also to suffer the loss of your teeth is affected by the stimulation in the oral cavity resulting in a decrease in the production of saliva.
  • By eating a diet in an unbalanced way in which input is an excess of carbohydrates and fewer vegetables and fruits is also a lack of saliva production.
  • The consumption of alcohol and tobacco generates a deficit in the salivary glands which blocks transmission of nerve impulses thereby causing the dry mouth.

Clinical features of Xerostomia

The low humidity in the mouth can produce different clinical manifestations that lead to a worsened quality of life of the person suffering from xerostomia.

The most common problems you have when chewing, phonation, swallowing, and in the alterations suffered by the taste, burning mouth and pasty mouth when I wake up.

The reduction of the saliva causes the soft tissues, which are more susceptible to dryness, irritation, redness, providing the attack of the microorganisms used.

Because of this, the mucosa is affected and tends to swell generating mucositis, the gum is also inflamed and appear ulcers painful and local infections caused by fungi such as candida, halitosis and cracks on the lips.

Often will be involved also with pharyngitis, dyspepsia, laryngitis, or constipation. The main effects of dry mouth are the reduction of the salivary flow over the fabric tooth and this is what the occasion lesions, carious and tooth sensitivity on the rise.

If the patient with the symptoms has a dental prosthesis is known that the friction generates erosions in the mucosa.

Diagnosis of Xerostomia

We have created multiple tests, but the most used to evaluate the salivary flow is the sialometría that measured the amount of saliva; also the biopsy of the salivary glands.

In addition, it has the ultra-sound, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging all of them are useful for the diagnosis of diseases of the salivary glands.

Taking into account that you should not overlook medical history as well as clinical examination extraoral and intraoral.

Dental treatment of Xerostomia

Among the general control that must be taken into account, is the review of the pathologies systematic, which are the most significant where the figure of Sjögren's syndrome.

Also the effects of the radiation therapy because of the treatment that is applied by the head and neck cancer.

It is necessary in people who suffer from this problem clinic for them to change, reduce or eliminate medications as prescribed.

In addition, we must take into account the psychological aspects that increase in frequency with the advent of the dry mouth most of all the chronic anxiety and excessive stress.

At the time of the design of a treatment, initially you must investigate if it has the effect of creating a dry mouth and, if so, consider if it is reversible or irreversible. This way you will know if it is correctable, the factor that is changed and if it has activity glandular be able to recover.

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