Is Dry Mouth Normal?

November 8, 2018

Have you experienced Xerostomia or what is more commonly known as dry mouth? Or do you feel like this is happening on a regular basis? Well if you have suffered 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.

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 this environment so your risk for decay greatly increases. That is why your hygienist or dentist may have recommend a prescription fluoride toothpaste (Clinpro) or fluoride trays to strengthen your enamel. It’s important to note that fluoride will strengthen the enamel but will not ease the discomfort that dry mouth can cause. Your hygienist may also give suggestions for different products to try that will keep the mouth more moist. Another suggestion is to make sure you’re drinking enough water each day. We’ve put together a list of products you can try that should help to ease the severity of dry mouth:

Please feel free to ask Dr. Crane or your hygienist about any of these products!

Another side 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 missing saliva, food is not being broken down properly before entering the rest of our digestive system where nutrients are extracted and absorbed. This is something to remember as you consider your diet and the role it plays in 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 with your physician about an alternate medication. As always if you have any questions, please 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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