Dry mouth, also referred to as xerostomia is a condition that results from decreased volumes of saliva. It means your salivary glands are not able to make enough saliva. Xerostomia often results from the side effects of various medications, certain medical treatments such as cancer radiation therapy, health conditions such as high blood sugar levels, or aging. If you are nervous, you smoke, or are dehydrated; it is also normal to have occasional occurrences of xerostomia. A persistent dry mouth, however, can be a sign of an underlying health problem.
Symptoms of a Dry Mouth
The common symptoms of a xerostomia include:
- Frequent thirst
- A sticky mouth
- Soreness in the mouth (could include cracked lips)
- Dry tongue
- Tongue sticking at the roof of the mouth
- Mouth ulcers
- High rate of tooth decay
- Oral thrush infections
- Loose acrylic dentures
- Dry feeling in the throat
- Burning sensation in the mouth
- Trouble chewing and swallowing
- Bad breath
- Sore throat
Depending on the cause of your condition, other symptoms that could be noted include:
- Dry nose
- Frequent coughing
- Itchy and dry eyes
- Reduced sense of smell
- Unexplained weight loss
- Stiffness in the joints
- Vaginal thrush infections in women
Why Xerostomia is a Problem
If your mouth is frequently dry, you are at a high risk of developing cavities. A dry mouth is not able to neutralize acids or clear organisms. The dry environment then creates a comfortable atmosphere for the growth of bacteria and microbes causing plaque to build up at extremely high rates. Tooth decay in such a situation is hard to avoid. Protective proteins and ions vital for tooth remineralization are also lost. With xerostomia, you are exposed to mouth sores, a painful condition known as thrush. Because of problems with chewing and swallowing, poor nutrition is also experienced.
What’s the Connection Between Dry Mouth and Diabetes Symptoms?
Is dry mouth a symptom of diabetes? The answer is yes. Xerostomia diabetes is prevalent among diabetic patients. Dry throat, tongue, lips, and chapped lips, are some of the most common symptoms in diabetes. Xerostomia can quickly exacerbate diabetes side effects, leading to an increase in glucose levels.
It is not just a high blood sugar symptom, but could also be the cause of it. A diabetic patient with xerostomia can suffer endless tooth decays. This would mean an increase in blood sugar as the body struggles to eliminate the infections.
You might be wondering why dry mouth is common in diabetes patients. Blame dry mouth and lips on the medication side effects and the high blood sugar levels diabetes presents. Adopting a diabetic neuropathy in diabetes can also lead to dry mouth while sleeping.
Dry Mouth Treatment in Diabetes
Can diabetes cause dry mouth? This is a question that is often asked, and the answer yes. Thankfully, xerostomia resulting from a diabetic condition can be treated. The first step to treatment is prevention. If you believe the medication you are taking is to blame, talk to your GP about options. Also, ensure that you monitor your blood sugar levels. Keep them under control by exercising, taking the prescribed medication, and eating a proper diet. It is vital to also avoid diabetes type 2 contributors of dry mouth such as smoking.
Take enough water quantities throughout the day; eat more fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins, avoiding beverages and foods high in sugar and salt. Sugar and salt have a drying effect. Xerostomia signals diabetes, meaning you need to avoid diets high in refined sugars. Such diets and those with fermented carbohydrates make it hard to regulate the levels of blood glucose. Foods low in carbohydrates offer essential nutrients to your body without creating a spike in blood sugar.
Is Dry Mouth a Sign of Diabetes?
Xerostomia often signals the presence of a diabetic condition. Cotton mouth causes your body to produce little amounts of saliva in diabetes. Because it creates harmful effects, you must try to work on xerostomia and keep your saliva flowing. With diabetes and dry mouth having a strong correlation, there are many ways to do this, but the most effective is the intake of fluids throughout the day. A dry mouth signals the presence of dehydration, so drink more water to fight the root cause of type 2 diabetes. Water creates a balanced level of moisture in the mouth.
Does Diabetes Cause Dry Mouth?
Dry mouth is common at night in diabetes cases, and when this happens, it might be necessary to add moisture to the air by using a humidifier. Typically, dry mouth in diabetes is manageable. If you have been diagnosed with the disease, begin by controlling your glucose levels. If you have diabetes and xerostomia continues to be a problem even after avoiding sugary foods, inform your doctor. Although dry mouth which is common at night in people with diabetes is not always a serious complication, it could lead to significant health problems if left untreated.
Signs of Diabetes in Men
Type 2 diabetes is the most common type, affecting about 90-95 percent of men across the globe. Cotton mouth is a unique diabetes symptom that can affect anyone, but those at the highest risk are obese or overweight men. There are many similar symptoms across the sexes such as diabetes dry throat, hunger, excessive thirst, fatigue, blurred vision, nausea, and diabetes dry mouth at night. However, when it comes to men, there are notable unique differences including:
- Erectile dysfunction: At least 75 percent of diabetic men have difficulties achieving an erection
- Retrograde ejaculation where the semen goes into the bladder instead of leaving the body through the urethra
- Genital thrush: Diabetic men experience episodes of fungal yeast and thrush infections
- Low testosterone
- Decreased sex drive and sexual dysfunction
- Reduced muscle mass
If you discovered that you are having similar signs of diabetes in men which are mentioned above, click on the link for more detailed information.
The risk factors for developing diabetes for both sexes are family history, ethnicity (high in Asians, African American, and Hispanics), high blood pressure, obesity, high fat distribution around the middle, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, excessive alcohol intake, and poor sleep.
Men with type 2 diabetes have a high likelihood of suffering from dry mouth and low testosterone, twice than men with no diabetes. Because of the low levels of the hormone, men with diabetes experience a lack of energy, depression, dry lips, urological, and sexual problems. Despite there being no cure for diabetes type 2, studies show that it can be reversed.