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Dry mouth in the elderly

Dry mouth is the feeling of lacking of saliva in the mouth. Saliva keeps the mouth wet all the time. It helps protect teeth from decay, heal pain, and prevent infections caused by bacteria, viruses and fungi in the mouth. Saliva also related to the perception of taste.

However, those functions of saliva can be lost because of a dry mouth. Dry mouth occurs occasionally when you have anxiety, sadness, stress or drug use. But if this phenomenon happens frequently during the day, you need to see a doctor or dentist for examination. Especially in the elderly, dry mouth sometimes is not a symptom of old age.


Dry mouth occurs when the glands in the mouth do not complete there function which is to create saliva. Lacking of saliva, your mouth will hurt. There are many reasons that make salivary gland work inefficiently. It is estimated that there are about 400 types of drugs make saliva glands work less or alternate the composition of saliva while performing this important function. Such as those medicine allergy medicine, high blood pressure pills, and medicine for depression may lead to dry mouth. Dry mouth causes inconvenience in daily life.

- Some people usually face dry mouth status and plenty of phlegm in mouth. Some other have feeling of burning sensation or difficult to eat. This makes throat was dry and hard to swallow due to lack of liquids. On the other hand, people with dry mouth may lead to some other oral diseases such as sore mouth, chapped lips, dry and rough tongue.


- The treatment depends on the cause of the disease. If you think you are having a dry mouth, see your dentist or doctor for examination. If you have dry mouth caused by medication, ask your doctor to change to more appropriate medications. If your salivary glands work less effective but still produces saliva, your doctor or dentist would advise on a drug that make your salivary glands work better. Or use artificial saliva to keep your mouth is always wet.


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