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Xerostomia is an ominous sounding name for a fairly common condition suffered by approximately 20% of the population, one that most people tend to underestimate, a dry mouth. In essence, having a dry mouth means the body is not producing enough saliva, which helps the mouth stay clean while removing harmful bacteria that can cause cavities and other painful infections in the mouth. Saliva neutralizes the acid in the mouth and is an important part of the digestive process as it provides the moisture needed to chew and swallow food.
Dry Mouth Causes
There are many causes of dry mouth, such as not drinking enough liquid during the day, smoking, and sleeping with your mouth open, among others. Dry mouth can also be caused by certain types of medication, such ADHD medicine, anti-histamines, antidepressants, sleep medications, and narcotics. When this is the case, the problem tends to disappear once the underlying cause is removed, meaning that a dry mouth is usually nothing more than a temporary problem with an easy fix. However, for individuals suffering from diabetes, having a dry mouth can be more than just a mild annoyance.
Dry Mouth Caused by Diabetes
A dry mouth can exacerbate the side effects of diabetes, which will then lead to an increase in glucose levels, wreaking havoc on the body. A dry mouth is not only a symptom of high blood sugar, but it can also be the cause of it. Having a dry mouth, especially as a diabetic, can lead to rampant tooth decay, which means blood sugar increases as the body tries, and fails, to fight infection. A dry mouth can also lead to loss of sleep and an altered sense of taste, a condition that presents with a metallic or sour taste in the mouth.
Treatments for Dry Mouth Caused by Diabetes
Because of the harmful effects of having a dry mouth, it is of extreme importance to keep saliva flowing as efficiently as possible. There are several ways to make this happen, and the most important is to increase the intake of liquids throughout the day. A dry mouth can sometimes be the first sign of dehydration, so drinking more water is the best way to fight the root cause, which will then translate into a higher production of saliva, and a more balanced level of moisture in the mouth. Additionally, increasing the amount of fluids in the body can also help prevent sores in the mouth and chapped lips, as well as help maintain overall health.
Even though many diabetics have had relative success at fighting a dry mouth by drinking more liquids, it is not a long term solution, and as soon as the body has processed the fluids, the dry mouth returns. When this happens, a more direct approach to the problem is needed. Fortunately, there are several ways to help stimulate salivation, such as sugar-free gum, mouthwash, and mints. In most cases, those who use these methods have become disappointed after a few weeks, since they tend to be less effective as time goes by, but there is one dry mouth product on the market, OraCoat® XyliMelts®, that has brought relief to many dry mouths, from cancer patients to diabetics.
Individuals who have tried XyliMelts to alleviate dry mouth have said nothing on the market can compare. XyliMelts are so versatile, they can even be used at night while sleeping, allowing the user to wake up in the morning with a moist, fresh sensation in their mouth. Because of the way they work, XyliMelts have the ability to increase salivation, while reducing harmful bacteria in the mouth, which in turn leads to an improvement of overall oral health. XyliMelts also freshen breath and help fight plaque.