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Hydration and dry mouth. 

People often ask:” Why do I get a dry mouth?.” There are many reasons why we experience dry mouth. This article will give you an overview of how and why this happened.

Salivary glands are parts of our bodies, and their function is to produce saliva. That includes Labial, Buccal, Palatal, Lingual.
Saliva helps with digestion and lubricates our mouth. The three main glands are parotid, submandibular glands and sublingual. They produce saliva made of 95% water and the rest of solutes such as potassium chloride, bicarbonate, phosphate, and sodium. Our glands produce about 10-15 cl of saliva every day. The system that regulates this process is the parasympathetic system ( a subgroup of the nervous system).

The way how it works.

In certain situations, the nervous system asks the glands to produce saliva. For example, when we speak, stress, or eat.
The saliva goes from our mouth through our gut system. It will be recycled and will contribute to restoring fluid loss.

When we do not drink too much water, our glands stop producing saliva, and we experience a dry mouth. Recall that NHS suggests we should drink at least 2-3 litres of water every day. We can get from natural water, juices, squash, soups. Staying hydrated will contribute to reducing dry mouth and sense of thirst. Xerostomia is the inability of our glands to produce enough saliva. It can occur in different circumstances and can be caused by different factors such as age, dehydration, use and misuse of substances, medical conditions, and stress. We can stop it by reducing or avoiding stressful situations, alcohol and drugs intake, swapping medication with similar medication and staying hydrated.
However, dry mouth can be underlying many health conditions, mainly if associated with cough and sneezing, such as allergies or others. The best way is to return to a healthy lifestyle and if symptoms persist, ask your doctor.

Substances like alcohol act as a diuretic. Our bodies metabolise alcohol by breaking it down into smaller sugars molecules. They will affect our liver and kidney and will produce a diuretic effect. That will cause urination and water loss. That explain why people who drink a lot of wine experience a lot of urination.

We experience dry mouth when we drink coffee. That happens due to the presence of a substance termed Tannine. This substance reacts with different proteins that affect our tongue surface and provoke a sense of dryness and thirst.

Some drugs and substance abuse like cocaine cause dry mouth and sore through.

People who use drugs have a limited intake of water. Therefore, the glands cannot produce enough saliva, and under these circumstances, the oral cavity is subject to the drugs acids. These acids will promote teeth decay, dry mouth, a hole in our oral cavity between the nose and mouth and dry mouth. That along with other symptoms. To conclude, remember SLUDD. SLUDD is an acronym for

  • Salivation
  • Lacrimation
  • Urination
  • Digestion
  • Defecation

That is the response from our parasympathetic system to stress and explain why we react in a specific way in a situation of stress.

In summarising, salivation occurs for different reasons. It is regulated by our nervous system and exerted by our glands. Saliva has different functions, and it is limited when we do not drink enough water.
Different reasons and substances can cause dry mouth. A return to a healthy lifestyle with a correct water intake should restore our bodies and eliminate the sense of dryness in our mouths. However, dry mouth can be a comorbidity of other diseases. In this case, professional help is the best solution.

 

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Hydration and dry mouth facts

1

Mental disorders affect 20% of children in the world

2

70% of children and young people who experience mental health does not receive appropriated support

3

Children who live in low income family are more likely to suffer from mental health.

Planning On Changing Your Lifestyle?

Trying to focus on the solution rather than the causes. That will lead you to a different level of thinking, reduce your stress, and make you feel better. Being constantly under stress increase the level of cortisol. Cortisol loves to help our body to store fat in our hips and our abdomen. Right now, we know how to identify our triggers and learn how to deal with them. After that, the biggest challenge has an action plan to prevent relapse. A good relapse prevention plan includes three main steps. Firstly, recognize your triggers, secondly, deal with them and finally use our self-efficacy to deal with them without back in the old habits.

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Rosario

Nutritional Counsellor| specialised in Mental Helth and Eating Disorder| | Food Production

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