Does your mouth feel dry and uncomfortable? Do you often wake up thirsty at night? Do you face difficulty in swallowing food? Have you recently started avoiding your favourite burgers because they taste different? If your answer to any of the above questions is yes then you might be suffering from Xerostomia or, what is commonly called, a dry throat. Xerostomia or dry throat is a condition, which makes swallowing and talking difficult and uncomfortable. While this is not a disease in itself, it serves as a symptom for various other diseases that slow down or stop the process of voluntary saliva formation in a person. This slow down in saliva formation can cause havoc to your health and wellness because of the role that saliva plays in the process of eating. Saliva stimulates the taste glands, which in turn send taste messages to the brain. However, in this condition, the taste glands become inefficient due to insufficient saliva availability and the person either doesn’t get the taste of the food or gets a different taste. Since the mouth feels tasteless, people may resort to high salt or spices intake leading to other health problems like hypertension. Dry throat can also ruin your oral hygiene by exposing your tooth to those harmful acids causing tooth decay, which are otherwise kept in check by saliva movement in the mouth. However, before seeking medicine it is important to be sure of the condition. Read on to know the symptoms and remedies for dry throat.
Symptoms And Remedies For Dry Throat
Although dry throat occurs as a symptom of a number of diseases like fever and dehydration, etc, it also has its own set of symptoms like
- Frequent thirst
- Bad breath
- Discomfort in chewing and swallowing food
- Sudden aversion to dry foods
- Altered sense of taste
- Dry or parched lips
- Frequent mouth ulcers
- Tingling or burning sensation of the tongue
- Thick and string-like saliva
- Frequent dryness of the nose
- Increase in dental problems like cavities
- Sore throat
- Redness of the tongue
The remedial measures for dry throat largely depend upon the intensity of the condition of a patient. For an initial level condition, any home remedy may suffice while for an advanced level problem professional help is indispensable.
The following measures can be adopted to tackle mild dry throat cases.
- Drinking water regularly will not only act as throat lubricant but also help in neutralizing the tooth-decay causing acids in the mouth. Sip water throughout the day and keep some by your bedside when you sleep.
- Drinking the concoction of a little tea and honey few times in a day also helps alleviate a mild condition. Make sure that the tea quantity is low.
- Sucking on cough drops and hard candies help lubricate the throat however, too many cough drops would expose your teeth to too much sugar, thereby leading to tooth decay.
- Rinse your mouth with alcohol-free mouthwash at least 2- 3 times in a day.
- Gargling with salt water may also help alleviate the problem.
- Place a humidifier in your room at night to ensure sufficient levels of humidity in the room while you sleep.
- Avoid dry foods (like bread), fried foods (like chips and wafers), and beverages with high sugar content.
- Do not switch to a high salt diet as sore throat is also a symptom of hypertension and the increased salt intake may further complicate the problem.
- Avoid tea, coffee, and alcoholic drinks as they lead to frequent urination.
- Avoid smoking.
If even after trying the home remedies, the condition doesn’t change or if it worsens then it becomes necessary to consult a professional. However, the professional in this context could be a physician or even a dentist, owing to the oral problems involved. Patient must not ignore his/her condition because, as stated above, xerostomia is not a disease in itself, it is rather a symptom or a warning bell for others.