Although we may all get a dry mouth from time to time, for some people it can be an ongoing debilitating condition. There could be new hope for such folks, however, thanks to a recent accidental discovery.
Along with being generally uncomfortable, chronic mouth dryness can also negatively affect a person’s general health, the health of their teeth and gums, and their ability to taste, chew and swallow food. It can be caused by various medical conditions, treatment regimes and medications, or it may simply occur as part of the aging process.
Regardless of the cause, though, inflammation of the salivary glands is often a major contributing factor. Inflammation is also a problem in bacterial lung infections, which is why scientists at the University of South Alabama were recently looking at ways of reducing it. More specifically, they were using a drug known as roflumilast to inhibit the activity of inflammation-causing phosphodiesterase-4 (PDE4) enzymes in the infected lungs of mice.