What can I do about Dry Mouth?

December 6, 2018

Have you ever experienced dry mouth (xerostomia)? Or do you experience it on a regular basis? Well if you do suffer from dry mouth, you are certainly not alone. As many as 400 medications list xerostomia as a side effect. You can check this list, to see if your medication is one of them.

Aside from the uncomfortable feeling, Xerostomia can have unwanted consequences on our teeth. The lack of saliva disrupts the pH balance in the oral cavity, often making it more acidic. Cavity causing bacteria thrive in acidic environments so your risk for decay greatly increases. That is why your hygienist or dentist may recommend a prescription fluoride toothpaste or fluoride trays to strengthen your enamel. While this strengthens your enamel, the fluoride is not a remedy for the discomfort experienced when having dry mouth. Drinking plenty of water each day can help ease the discomfort. Your hygienist may also give suggestions for different products to try that will keep the mouth more moist. Below we’ve put together a list of products that may ease the severity of dry mouth.

 

Ask your dentist or hygienist about any of these products at your next appointment!

Another ill effect of xerostomia is a lack of nutrient absorption. From the time food enters our mouth it begins breaking down due to enzymes in our saliva. If you are lacking saliva, food can not be broken down as effectively before entering the rest of our digestive system. This is where nutrients are extracted and absorbed. It’s important to remember the important role oral care has in your overall health.

The Academy of General Dentistry states that 90% of xerostomia cases are caused by medications. If this is something that concerns you or affects you daily, you may want to consider a discussion about alternate medications with your physician. As always if you have any questions, feel free to ask us at your next visit!

References:

WSDHA Dry Mouth Medication List:

http://wsdha.com/clientuploads/pdfs/Public%20Info/Seniors/DryMouthMedications.pdf

RDH Magazine:

https://www.rdhmag.com/articles/print/volume-37/issue-9/contents/dry-comfort.html

 


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