Does anxiety cause dry mouth?

You can have a dry mouth after your morning exercise.

You will feel more thirsty on your way to recovery from a high temperature.

Or the dry summer heat will make you run for the bottle of cold water. You can have a dry mouth in any of these everyday activities. This is normal. Some medications or medical conditions can result in a dry mouth. However, research suggests that anxiety can cause dryness.So, let’s find out……

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is an unpleasant and vague sensation of fear and concern with an unknown origin.

Some of the physical symptoms of anxiety are considered serious irritants. They may not be debilitating or lead to concerns about your overall health. But, sometimes the symptoms are simply annoying, that you would wish you didn’t have to deal with them so often.

Dry mouth is an example of this type of symptom. As the name implies, dry mouth is when your mouth simply feels dry. A dry mouth occurs due to reduced salivary flow in the mouth.

Worldwide, millions of people suffering from anxiety deal with dry mouth every day. However, dry mouth seems to be more common among women.

 

What is salivary flow rate?

Unstimulated salivary flow rate is  the volume of saliva secreted by the major and minor salivary glands in a minute without any stimulation. The normal range of unstimulated and stimulated salivary flow rates are 0.3‒0.5 and 0.5‒0.7 mL/min, respectively. Thus, any persons with salivary secretion amounts less than this is will complain of dry mouth.

What are the effects of reduced salivation?

Reduced salivation can cause some side effects like

  • Speech problems
  • Difficulty in chewing
  • Redness in the mouth
  • Fungal infections (like candida)
  • Tooth decay
  • Gum infections
  • Burning sensation

Reduced salivary flow encourages plaque accumulation and decreases the buffering capacity of the saliva.

Several factors like stress, anxiety, depression, age, medications, radiation therapy for cancer can cause reduced saliva and dryness in your mouth.

Several researchers have conducted studies on the relationship between stress, anxiety and depression with mouth dryness. And a significant relationship has been found between anxiety and unstimulated salivary flow.

During stress, there is salivary gland hypo function. This reduces saliva secretion. Also, certain body mechanisms that control saliva secretion is altered.

How can I remedy dry mouth?

Dry mouth is not pleasant, But there are way sin which you can reduce the symptoms.

  • Good oral and dental hygiene habits is essential : Brushing twice a day, flossing and using a mouthwash.
  • You can chew on a sugar free gum to increase the saliva.
  • Take regular sips of water to keep your mouth moist and fresh.
  • If your dryness is due to your medications, then talk to your dentist or doctor. Your health care provider can change your medication for better results.
  • Visit you dentist regularly.