Dry Mouth and Its Association with Drinking Water

The condition called dry mouth is known in medical circles as Xerostomia. As one might expect, the sufferer complains of a constant sensation of thirst or dryness in the mouth caused by a lack of saliva produced by salivary glands. People with dry mouth may become accustomed to the sensation after a while, but the condition remains. In spite of its seeming triviality, dry mouth is a condition that should not be ignored because it may indicate other physical illnesses or health complications.

Hydrated Mouth

Xerostomia can be defined as a persistent lack of saliva production, even after drinking water and other fluids. Dry mouth due to dehydration can simply be cured by drinking fluids, and proper saliva function should be restored within a day. If the saliva gland will not function despite the proper intake of nutrition and fluid, then one can be diagnosed as having Xerostomia due to malfunction of the saliva gland.

Dry mouth creates problems for its sufferers when trying to speak, and their eating becomes difficult without saliva to moisten and break down food. Bad breath, sore throat, and thick and stringy saliva are also symptoms of dry mouth. Other than those, because saliva also creates a slightly acidic environment that deters bacterial growth and contains enzymes and calcium fragments that repair minerals dissolved from the teeth, with reduced saliva production, chronic dry mouth sufferers are at a greater risk of getting dental cavities.

Dry mouth may be caused by physical conditions such as traumatic damage to the saliva gland, or by diabetes, and/or medicine. The elderly often suffer dry mouth, both because of disease and decreased saliva gland function. Dry mouth can also be caused by many contaminants, ranging from bacteria to drugs. The contaminating factors may also include excessive consumption of alcohol, marijuana, and higher doses of methamphetamine. Drinking unclean water that is tainted with chemicals or traces of pharmaceutical drugs can also cause or exasperate the problem.

Dry mouth in most cases is caused by a physical problem, or the result of drugs. On the other hand, water is such an integral part of every aspect of human health that contaminated water may indeed play a role in this condition. The largest culprit may be microbes in drinking water. Many bacteria and viruses can cause dehydration. Should bacteria infect the gut, fluids lost to elimination must be replaced, and even then the body may respond by denying fluid to non-essential bodily tissues. If diarrhea is the cause, then the more immediate concern is dehydration. Dry mouth will be an almost ignorable nuisance.

Bacteria can also infect the mouth itself, and strange health conditions can arise from drinking water infected with microbes. The infection could lead to complications such as mouth sores, yeast infection, cracked lips, etc. It is a good idea to never drink from a stream, or from a poorly maintained tap or well water source. Well, water is typically not contaminated by the same germs as surface water, but if it has a bad smell, then discard the soured water. Some chemicals, such as pesticide runoff may play a role, but dry mouth, in this case, is but a side effect of poisoning, and finding treatment for poison is a greater concern. Metal poisoning may be another possibility, but many other symptoms will likely arise before the dry mouth. A quality water purification system will remove most chemicals, microbes, and heavy metals from the tap or well water which will help alleviate and potentially cure dry mouth.

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