Appearance of tongue in a dry mouth
What to look for
Patient complains of a dry mouth and may have difficulty talking, eating and swallowing.
May be caused by infected swelling in saliva glands or Sjogrens syndrome which dries mucous membranes. Other causes of dry mouth include: allergies, breathing through the mouth at night, and mouth infections.
For help with eating if the mouth is very dry or sore, try the following:
- eat soft foods in small pieces that are easy to chew and swallow
- cook foods until they are soft and tender
- mix foods with liquids to make them easier to swallow
- keep a small bottle of drinking water with you all the time
- use a straw to drink fluids
- do not eat hot or spicy foods which can irritate a sore mouth
- if it is difficult to swallow, tilt the head back a little or move it forward
- rinse the mouth with clean water often to remove food and germs
HIV – Condition is common in people who take Anti Retro Viral drugs (ARVs)
Tobacco – Smoking or chewing tobacco can increase dry mouth symptoms
Medications – Hundreds of medications produce dry mouth as a side effect such as drugs used to treat depression, nerve pain and anxiety. It is important to know the possible side effects of medication a patient is taking
Aging – Older people are more likely to take medications that may cause dry mouth, and they’re more likely to have other health conditions that can cause dry mouth
Cancer therapy – Chemotherapy drugs and radiation treatments to your head and neck can change the nature of saliva and the amount produced and this may be temporary or permanent
Trauma – An injury or surgery that causes nerve damage to your head and neck area can result in dry mouth
Sjogren’s syndrome – (an autoimmune condition that causes dry mouth)
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