Dry Mouth, is it normal?

November 9, 2018

Have you ever had that feeling where your mouth feels dried out? If you you have, you are not alone! This is something called “dry mouth” or clinically called Xerostomia. This condition is also can happen occasionally or persist daily. Xerostomia is actually pretty common because as many as 400 medications list it as a side effect. You can check this list, to see if your medication is one of them.

Xerostomia can have consequences that are undesirable on our teeth. A lack of saliva disrupts the pH balance in the oral cavity, making the environment more acidic. The bacteria that cause cavities love an environment like this, putting you at a greatly increased risk for decay. We do offer some products that help support your enamel. Your hygienist or dentist may suggest a  prescription fluoride toothpaste or fluoride trays to help strengthen your enamel. These tools for enamel are great, but they unfortunately don’t ease the unpleasantness that dry mouth brings. There are many products that you’re hygienist may suggest to help keep your mouth moist. It also helps to get your recommended amount of water each day. Below we’ve put together a list of products you can try that aim to ease the severity of dry mouth.

Ask your dentist or hygienist about any of these products!

Xerostomia does have another unfortunate effect and that is a lack of nutrient absorption. As soon as food enters our mouths it starts to break down, this is because of the enzymes in our saliva. If you are lacking saliva, food is not being broken down as much before entering the rest of our digestive system where nutrients are extracted and absorbed. This is something good to think about when you are planning your diet and the roll that diet plays in your bodies overall health.

The Academy of General Dentistry states that 90% of xerostomia cases are caused by medications. If this is something that affects you daily, or maybe you are concerned it could, don’t be afraid to seek help. The first thing you should do is have a discussion with you primary care physician about some alternate medication options. 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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