What Can Cause A Dry Mouth
A dry mouth can occur when the salivary glands in your mouth don’t produce enough saliva.
This is often the result of dehydration, which means you dont have enough fluid in your body to produce the saliva you need. It’s also common for your mouth to become dry if you’re feeling anxious or nervous.
A dry mouth can sometimes be caused by an underlying problem or medical condition, such as:
- medication many different medications can cause a dry mouth, including antidepressants, antihistamines and diuretics check the leaflet that comes with your medicine, or find it in the medicines section to see if dry mouth is listed as a side effect
- a blocked nose breathing through your mouth while you sleep can cause it to dry out
- diabetes a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high
- radiotherapy to the head and neck this can cause the salivary glands to become inflamed
- Sjögren’s syndrome a condition where the immune system attacks and damages the salivary glands
If you see your dentist or GP, let them know about any other symptoms you’re experiencing and any treatments youre having, as this will help them work out why your mouth is dry.
Is An Adrenal Fatigue Diet High Enough In Calories To Support A Healthy Pregnancy
Good question. There are several aspects to a diet for AFS are very helpful for healthy pregnancy also. Avoidance of inflammatory foods such as caffeine, alcohol, sugar, trans-fats, processed food, etc. Eating smaller meals to keep blood sugar balanced throughout the day, and should give you enough calories to support a healthy pregnancy.
You No Longer Have To Wait 15 Minutes After Being Vaccinated Here’s Why
In terms of different symptoms between those who are jabbed and those who are not, its too early to tell, he says.
Our study population is highly vaccinated so its not possible for us to comment on symptoms in unvaccinated at this time. The Zoe Covid Study has just launched a new feature into the app which allows people to confirm whether they have had a positive Omicron test, and this should help us have a better idea on symptoms soon.
The are now more than 5,000 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant in the UK. And while people are being encouraged to test when necessary, lateral flow tests and PCR tests are unavailable via the NHS website due to high demand.
The government has also advised that all adults now get the booster.
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Sex Fertility And Pregnancy
Women with Sjögrens syndrome can sometimes have a dry vagina, which can make sex painful. Lubricants and creams made from the female sex hormone, oestrogen, can help with this. Treatments for infections such as thrush are available from chemists.
The condition doesnt affect fertility in men or women. However, there may be a higher risk of miscarriage in women who have anti-Ro or anti-La antibodies. Your doctor might suggest low-dose aspirin in the early stages of pregnancy to reduce this risk.
There arent usually any problems during or after pregnancy, and you may be able to carry on with some treatments, such as hydroxychloroquine, during pregnancy.
However, a very small number of women may pass anti-Ro or anti-La antibodies on to their baby during pregnancy. The baby could then develop symptoms, such as rashes and abnormal blood tests after birth.
These will clear up once the mothers antibodies have been lost from the babys blood. This can take anything from a couple of weeks to a few months.
In some cases, the antibodies affect the babys heart, causing it to beat slowly. If you have these antibodies, you should tell your obstetrician, as your babys heartbeat will need additional monitoring in the womb.
How Will Sjgren’s Syndrome Affect Me
Though the symptoms can be uncomfortable and last quite a long time, you should be able to lead the life you want if the condition is treated properly. For most people, the condition only affects the tear and saliva glands, but some people may experience other symptoms, such as fatigue and joint inflammation.
If dryness of the eyes isnt treated, the front of your eye could become damaged and cause permanent sight problems. Seeing an optician regularly and using treatments for dry eyes can help stop this.
People with Sjögrens syndrome might be more likely to develop:
- hypothyroidism, when the thyroid gland is underactive
- Raynauds phenomenon, which causes the fingers to feel cold and turn blue
- inflamed blood vessels, known as vasculitis, which can cause reduced blood flow
- loss of feeling in the hands and feet, known as peripheral neuropathy
- IBS, causing tummy pain, diarrhoea and constipation
- kidney problems
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Joint Pain And Swelling
After tear and salivary glands, joints are the next most common sites of damage in Sjögrens syndrome, making joint pain a common symptom. Pain typically occurs in multiple joints at once, over a cycle involving painful flares followed by periods of little or no pain.
Inflammatory arthritis most commonly affects the fingers, wrists, and ankles, and appears as tenderness and swelling at those points. Pain may also occur in the shoulders, hips, and knees.
Most Common Sjgrens Syndrome Symptoms
When a person has Sjögrens syndrome, their immune system is attacking the glands that keep the eyes, mouth and other body parts moist. The severity of the disease can vary widely, but the most common symptoms are dry eyes and dry mouth.
- Dry eyes. Due to decreased tear production, your eyes may feel extremely dry. They may also itch or burn, leading to excessive blinking. It may feel like grains of sand are lodged in your eyes. Or they may be red or watery, and you may have blurred vision or be sensitive to bright or fluorescent lights.
- Dry mouth. Because your body cant produce saliva readily, it might be difficult to swallow or speak, or to taste food. Your mouth may feel chalky or cottonlike, you might wake up at night and need a drink because of the dryness, or you may find yourself drinking more during the day to help swallow food.
Because Sjögrens syndrome primarily involves the eyes and mouth, you may have cavities and infections of the mouth such as oral thrush and vision problems including corneal ulcers.
Sjögrens syndrome can often be difficult to diagnose, as these symptoms are very general and can indicate a range of conditions.
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The Reasons Behind Dry Mouth
Your morning dry mouth happens because of inadequate saliva production, a condition called xerostomia. Saliva not only keeps your mouth moist, its antibacterial, keeping your mouth clean. As well as dryness, you may also experience symptoms such as:
- Burning sensations in your mouth
- Sore throat and swallowing problems
- Dryness in your nose-breathing airways
- Hoarse voice or other speech problems
Xerostomia itself is a symptom of other conditions which, left untreated, could cause complications including a loss of your sense of taste, dental problems like gum disease and tooth loss, poor nutrition, and depression.
When Should I Call The Doctor If I Have Sjgrens Syndrome
Severe mouth or gum pain could indicate infection or tooth decay. Itchy eyes, eye pain, or blurred or double vision can signal infections or other vision problems. You should also call your doctor if you notice swollen lymph nodes in your neck, armpits or groin. Enlarged lymph nodes could indicate lymphoma or another health condition.
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How Is Sjgrens Syndrome Managed Or Treated
There is no cure for Sjögrens syndrome, but treatments can relieve symptoms. Depending on your specific issues, your doctor may recommend one or more of these therapies.
Treatments for dry eyes:
- Artificial tears: Over-the-counter artificial tear eye solutions and artificial tear eye ointments moisturize dry eyes. These products relieve irritation and discomfort.
- Prescription eye drops:Cyclosporine and lifitegrast prescription eye drops soothe inflamed tear glands and stimulate tear production.
- Punctal plugs: An ophthalmologist inserts tiny silicone plugs into the tear ducts. The plugs block the ducts so tears stay on the eyes, keeping them wet.
- Surgery: If punctal plugs work for you, your doctor may recommend surgery to close the tear ducts permanently.
- Autologous serum drops: Your doctor can make customized artificial tears. The process involves mixing your blood serum with a sterile liquid solution. You receive a one-of-a-kind tear substitute unique to your body. While effective, the pricey treatment isnt always covered by insurance.
Treatments for dry mouth:
Treatments for joint or organ problems:
Treatments for vaginal dryness:
- Trying vaginal moisturizers or lubricants to add moisture to the vagina daily and to ease sexual intercourse.
- Using unscented soaps for cleansing. Perfumes and other additives can cause irritation.
- Asking your healthcare provider about vaginal estrogen therapy.
Treatments For Eye Symptoms
If your eyes are dry and sore, lubricating eye drops can be used to keep your eyes moist and reduce any friction. You can buy these yourself from chemists.
You might need to speak to your doctor or another healthcare professional and try a few different types of eye drops, before finding one that is right for you.
For very dry eyes, you may need to use ointment, gel or sprays as well as eye drops. Your doctor might give you eye drops containing ciclosporin or steroids if your eyes are inflamed.
Mucolytic eye drops can be given by your doctor if mucus has caused your eyes to become sticky. Paraffin-based ointments can be used at night to help stop your eyes being dry and crusty when you wake up in the morning.
If you need to use eye drops more than three times a day, its a good idea to use a brand that is preservative-free, as regularly using eye drops that contain preservatives can increase dryness and sensitivity. If you have corneal ulcers or infections, its important to speak to an eye specialist before using any products.
In some cases, an eye specialist may suggest punctal occlusion. This is where tiny plugs are inserted into the ducts at the inner corners of the eyelids. These are known as the puncta. This reduces the ducts ability to drain tears or eye drops from the surface of the eye.
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Abnormal Sense Of Taste And Smell
The loss of saliva and nasal fluids can alter a persons sense of taste and smell, often affecting their enjoyment of daily life. Some patients describe bitter or metallic tastes, for instance. Dry mouth can also lead to burning mouth syndrome, whose features are tingling or numbness of the tongue and soreness.
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What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor If I Have Sjgrens Syndrome
If you have Sjögrens syndrome, you may want to ask your doctor:
- What lifestyle measures can I take to make my symptoms more livable?
- Can certain medications, drinks or foods dry out the eyes or mouth?
- Should I look out for any signs of complications?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
While there isnt a cure for the dry mouth, dry eyes or other problems caused by Sjögrens syndrome, you dont have to live with discomfort or pain. Talk openly with your healthcare provider about how the disease affects your everyday life. Eating, swallowing, speaking and seeing are all critical for enjoying life. Your provider can help you find the right combination of therapies to relieve symptoms.
What Are The Complications Of Sjgrens Syndrome
Most people who have Sjögrens syndrome live their lives without any significant problems. However, a dry mouth means that you are more likely to have dental problems, such as tooth decay and infection. Dry eyes can also place you at risk for eye infections.
If you have secondary Sjögrens syndrome, you may also have problems like joint paint caused by rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.
Rarely, people with Sjögrens syndrome develop these complications:
- Abnormal liver or kidney function.
- Lymphomas .
- Lung problems that may be mistaken for pneumonia.
- Neurological problems that cause weakness or numbness.
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What Should I Eat If I Have Sjgrens Syndrome What Foods Should I Avoid
An estimated 90% of people with Sjögrens syndrome have problems related to eating. In some cases, these problems can be enough to cause malnutrition. Troubles can be related to dryness and swelling of the throat, as well as intestinal tract or nerve damage. There also seems to be a significant number of people who have both Sjögrens syndrome and celiac disease and/or symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome .
If you have gastrointestinal symptoms, you can work with a registered dietitian to find out what food sensitivities you have. An RD can then also help you to create a food plan that works well for you and provides the nutrients you need.
Problems with gastroesophageal reflux are also common among people in general and among people with Sjögrens syndrome in particular. Your care team can provide you with tips for dealing with GERD. These might include not eating two to three hours before you lie down to sleep and avoiding greasy foods.
There are some recommendations that people who have autoimmune disorders like Sjögrens syndrome should follow an anti-inflammatory diet to help with joint pain and other symptoms. Some people have found relief from a completely plant-based diet.
Here are some tips that might help you manage other types of eating issues:
What Is Sjogren’s Syndrome
Sjogrens is an autoimmune condition, meaning the bodys own immune system turns on itself by attacking healthy tissue. The disease targets and inflames glands that make tears and saliva. It can also attack other moisture-producing glands and damage major organs and body systems.
Scientists dont know exactly what causes Sjogrens. They think your genes make you susceptible, and that some environmental factor, like a virus or bacteria, pulls the trigger, prompting your immune systems over-the-top reaction.
Although its the second most common autoimmune disease after rheumatoid arthritis , Sjogrens isnt widely known and often goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. With its odd collection of core symptomsdry eyes, dry mouth, fatigue, and joint painit can take a while for people to recognize that somethings not right, and some doctors fail to piece it all together.
And, like other autoimmune conditions, Sjogrens symptoms can settle down for periods of time and then flare up again. Tennis star Venus Williams famously struggled with chronic fatigue and other symptoms for several years before being properly diagnosed with Sjogrens.
Esen Akpek, MD, professor of ophthalmology at Johns Hopkins Universitys Wilmer Eye Institute in Baltimore, says many people with Sjogrens just shrug off symptoms. For years and years, it just smolders, she says.
Sjogrens can occur alone or along with other autoimmune diseases, like RA or lupus.
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How To Stop The Sensation Of A Dry Mouth
The difficulty in dealing with dry mouth depends primarily on the cause. Dry mouth caused by medication may reqiure a different dose, a different medication, or a different type of medication that can be provided by your doctor or dentist. There are both prescription and non-prescription treatments and washes that increase salivary production.
If you are not currently taking any medication and doctors have ruled out any other causes of dry mouth, its possible that anxiety is solely to blame. In that case, first simply try drinking water and chewing gum – two small behaviors that moisten the mouth. Although this may not treat all anxiety related dry mouth, some people find that the increase in saliva and cool feeling of water against the tongue can be mentally refreshing.
If the cause of your dry mouth appears to be anxiety, and is not related to the medications you are taking to cure it, then the next step is to work on anxiety reduction strategies. For example:
Although medications can also be effective, those that struggle with anxiety related dry mouth will want to talk about their distress with their doctor, to ensure that anything you take for your anxiety wont affect your symptoms.
Dry mouth may be the result of mouth breathing, acid reflux, medications, and several other anxiety-related issues. Identifying the cause is important. Eliminating dry mouth from anxiety typically requires commitment to long term anxiety reduction.
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What Problems Can A Dry Mouth Cause
Saliva plays an important role in keeping your mouth healthy. If you have a dry mouth, you may experience a number of other problems too, such as:
- a burning sensation or soreness in your mouth
- dry lips
- tooth decay and gum disease
- difficulty speaking, eating or swallowing
Its important to maintain good oral hygiene if you have a dry mouth to reduce the risk of dental problems. You should also see a dentist regularly, so they can identify and treat any problems early on.
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How Is Sjgrens Syndrome Diagnosed
If you have dry mouth, dry eyes or other signs of Sjögrens syndrome, your doctor may use these methods to confirm a diagnosis:
- Blood tests:These tests detect specific antibodies in the blood. They look for anti-nuclear antibodies , anti-Sjögrens syndrome antibodies and anti-Sjögrens syndrome type B . A blood test can also detect rheumatoid factor, an antibody found in many people who have rheumatoid arthritis.
- Biopsy: Your doctor may remove tissue or cells from a salivary gland or the inside of your lip. This biopsy sample goes to a lab to check for signs of inflammation.
- Eye exam: An eye specialist, such as an ophthalmologist, can measure tear production. During an eye exam, your doctor will examine the cornea, the clear part of the eye, for dryness.
- Imaging tests: These include sialometry, which measures how much saliva you produce by using X-rays that can see dye injected into salivary glands. There is also salivary scintigraphy, a way to track how long it takes for a radioactive isotope to travel from an injection point in your vein to your salivary glands.
- Health history: If you have a pre-existing autoimmune disease, plus dry eyes and dry mouth, your doctor may conclude that you have developed secondary Sjögrens syndrome.