Drymouse Q&A

Q 101:Is there a relation between stress and dry mouth?
A 101:When stress occurs the autonomic nerve's sympathetic nerve becomes tense. The sympathetic nerve will sometimes suppress salivary secretion and so dry mouth can occur through stress.

Q 102:Is there a relation between smoking and dry mouth?
A 102:There is no direct relation between smoking and dry mouth, however it is thought that in many smokers the sympathetic nerve becomes tense leading to suppression of saliva secretion.

Q 103:Is there any special prevention method for tooth decay and periodontal disease in dry mouth?
A 103:Tooth brushing is the best means of protection. Tartar and plaque removal is also effective. In dry mouth, compared to people with sufficient saliva, tooth decay and periodontal disease occur more frequently therefore taking medication to induce saliva and to keep the mouth moist is suggested.

Q 104:Is there a relation between pneumonia in the elderly and dry mouth?
A 104:When an elderly person's mouth is dry, food and bacteria in the mouth sometimes do not go to the digestive tract but to the lungs and this causes pneumonia.

Q 105:How is a sialograph done? Is it painful?
A 105:Sialography is done mainly to check the gland under the ear (parotid gland). This is a method in which a substance called contrast medium, which shows up well on an x-ray, is injected into the salivary gland and an x-ray is taken. If the salivary gland is atrophic, then there could be some pain.

Q 106:Why does gum inflammation occur more often when the mouth is dry?
A 106:When the mouth is dry there is little saliva. When saliva decreases, bacteria killing substances such as lysozyme and lactoferrin also decrease. Also the washing away of bacteria by saliva occurs less often and therefore bacteria increases. Bacteria then adheres to the gums causing swelling and tooth decay.

Q 107:What is dry eye?
A 107:This is the general term for dryness of the eyes. There are various causes of dry eye such as prolonged computer use and stress. Also the autoimmune disease Sjogren's syndrome could be a factor.

Q 108:Is it dry mouth when the lips are dry?
A 108:Dryness of the lips alone is not dry mouth (xerostomia). If lip dryness is due to a decrease in saliva, then there is the possibility of dry mouth.

Q 109:When the mouth becomes dry do the teeth tend to stain (become dirty) more?
A 109:With a decrease in saliva, it is harder to get rid of debris and so the teeth tend to stain.

Q 110:My mouth is dry. Will keeping my mouth closed cure this?
A 110:Some people who breathe through their mouth experience dry mouth. In this case keeping the mouth closed would prevent the mouth from drying, however if there is another cause, other treatment is necessary.

Q 111:I wake up thirsty during the night. Is there a good remedy for this?
A 111:Keeping bottled water or tea by the bedside for when you wake up thirsty during the night would help you sleep at ease. However in order to not wake up, it is recommended to take medication such as cevimeline before bedtime to stimulate saliva secretion or to wear a moisturizing plate.

Q 112:My mouth is dry. To what kind of hospital (section) should I seek treatment?
A 112:This can be treated at a dental clinic however a total body disease such as Sjogren's syndrome or other diseases and complications such as high blood pressure might also exist. It would best to be seen by a specialist and to go to a dentist for symptoms involving the mouth.

Q 113:I tend to breathe through my mouth. Will I develop dry mouth?
A 113:Breathing through the mouth alone will not cause dry mouth (xerostomia). Please try to breathe through your nose.