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A complaint of thick saliva indicates that there is something wrong with the balance of composition of the saliva. This indicates that there is an underlying condition that is affecting the salivary glands and preventing them from producing the right kind of saliva. Some of the conditions that can cause such a symptom are:

Dehydration

If the body is dehydrated then there will not be enough water content in the saliva to maintain its normal consistency. The saliva appears to be thicker and stickier since the mucus content in it becomes more pronounced. The remedy for this is simple and straightforward. Drink more water.

Medication

If the saliva appears thicker after a change in your medication, then your medication might be have an effect on the salivary gland function. Anti allergic medication, decongestants and even a few antibiotics are known to affect the amount of saliva being secreted by the body. Visit the doctor and try to ascertain if this could be the reason for the change in salivary consistency.

Smoking

The amount of pollutants and residue that enter the throat during smoking are enough to elicit an inflammatory reaction from the body. The sensitive mucous membrane which lines the throat, sinuses and nasal cavity can produce a larger amount of mucus than normal. This increased mucus content is what leads to a thicker, more sticker consistency even causing some people to have a chocking sensation while swallowing.

Affected patients should reduce/give up smoking and get an ENT examination if advised by their doctor.

Sjogren's Syndrome

This is an autoimmune syndrome that is associated with the occurrence of a dry mouth. The exact cause of this syndrome is unknown. The affected patient will have only a slight secretion of saliva (which will be thick in consistency), or none at all. Other secretions of the body will also be reduced. Some of the other symptoms that are associated with this syndrome are the presence of rheumatoid arthritis and vision disturbances. Patients usually complain of a burning sensation on eating anything spicy and have a very low tolerance for anything hot.

Fungal Infection

The presence of ropey saliva and whitish patches in the mouth could also be indicative of a fungal infection. Candidiasis, which is the most common type of fungal infection in the mouth, can cause the presence of these whitish patches on the tongue, inside of the cheek and the surface of the palate. The fungus which causes this infection is present in the mouth in small numbers, however proliferates to cause infection when the situation becomes amenable to its growth. A dry mouth is very conducive for the growth of the fungus and so the presence of candidiasis could be the problem on its own or indicative of something else that is causing the dry mouth.

A simple topical antifungal gel should be enough to get rid of the fungal infection, however deeper investigation into why an opportunistic infection was allowed to thrive should take place.

Drinking plenty of water, chewing non sweetenede gum, avoiding caffeine are all things that will help increase the salivary flow as well as return it to the normal watery consistency.

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