The condition of not having enough saliva to keep the mouth wet. This is due to inadequate function of the salivary glands. Everyone has dry mouth once in a while when they are nervous, upset or under stress. But if someone has a dry mouth most all of the time, it can be uncomfortable and lead to serious health problems.
Dry mouth can cause difficulties in tasting, chewing, swallowing, and speaking. If it goes untreated, severe dry mouth can also lead to increased levels of tooth decay and infections of the mouth such as thrush. Severe dry mouth is not a normal part of aging. It can be a clue to systemic diseases such as Sjogren syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, sarcoidosis, amyloidosis, and hypothyroidism. Some medications can also cause dry mouth.
Dry mouth is medically termed xerostomia. From the Greek “xeros” (dry) + “stoma” (mouth).
- Dry skin
Abnormally dry skin. Can be caused by a dry climate, winter weather, severe deficiency of vitamin A, systemic illness, overexposure to sunlight, or medication. The skin loses moisture. It may crack and peel. Or it may become irritated, inflamed, and itch. Bathing frequently, especially with soaps, can contribute to dry skin. With dry skin, it […]
- DPT immunization
DPT immunization: Immunization to protect against diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), and tetanus. DPT immunizations are given in a series of 5 shots at 2, 4, 6, 18 months of age and 4-6 years of age. Thanks to vaccination programs, these diseases have become less common. However, there are still unvaccinated individuals capable of carrying and […]
DPT: Diphtheria-Pertussis-Tetanus vaccine. Today the more frequent abbreviation is DTP (for Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis vaccine).
- DT immunization
DT immunization: DT (diphtheria and tetanus) vaccine does not protect from pertussis and is usually reserved for individuals who have had a significant adverse reaction to a DPT shot or who have a personal or family history of a seizure disorder or brain disease.
- DTaP immunization
DTaP immunization: DTaP vaccine protects from diphtheria, tetanus (lockjaw), and pertussis (whooping cough). It is designed to be given in a series of 5 doses. DTaP was first licensed in 1991, and research shows that it is much safer than the previous formulation, DTP. Currently, there are three licensed formulations of the DTaP vaccine. Many […]