- Dry mouth is the condition in which the salivary glands don't produce enough saliva
- A lack of saliva prevents your mouth from functioning properly
- Dry mouth that doesn't go away on it's own may indicate a more serious issue
Dry mouth is the condition in which the salivary glands don't produce enough saliva. In one day a healthy adult can produce up to one pint of saliva. This saliva is an extremely important, often over-looked, component of your mouth. It keeps your mouth moist, allowing you to speak, chew, and swallow with ease. It contains an enzyme which initiates the process of digesting your food. Additionally, it protects your teeth, neutralizing acid and helping to prevent tooth decay. Your saliva also fights against infection, controlling and managing the plethora of bacteria found in your mouth.
When you don't have enough saliva or spit in your mouth, your mouth becomes dry and uncomfortable. A lack of saliva prevents your mouth from functioning properly. Often dry mouth occurs if you're extremely nervous or stressed, and in general, everyone will experience it at some point in their life. Typically, dry mouth isn't a reason for concern; however, if you experience dry mouth on a regular basis or for an extended period of time, this could indicate a more serious health problem.
Symptoms of Dry Mouth
Dry mouth can be extremely uncomfortable. Here are some common symptoms that may indicate that your salivary glands are not functioning as they should be:
- Bad breath
- Burning feeling on your tongue
- Cracked and dry lips
- Difficulty swallowing
- Difficulty tasting things
- Dry feeling in your mouth
- Dry feeling in your throat
- Metallic taste in your mouth
- Sores in your mouth
- Sticky feeling in your mouth
- Trouble chewing or speaking
If your dry mouth persists for a long period of time, don't hesitate to contact your dentist or another health professional. Dry mouth that doesn't go away on it's own may indicate a more serious issue.