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Today, we’re going to talk about dry mouth which is also called Xerostomia.
There are a lot of causes of dry mouth, the most common being medication. There are over 500 medications that can cause dry mouth. Blood pressure medication, antihistamines, sedatives, then you have inhalers. The other cause is head and neck radiation in chemotherapy. If you’re going through that, you can see your dentist or hygienist. We have things that we can do to alleviate some of that discomfort. Other causes of dry mouth are aging, unfortunately the salivary glands don’t work like they once did. Autoimmune disease like Sjögren’s syndrome, which causes extreme dry mouth. Again, come to your dentist we can alleviate some of that dryness.
Dehydration is a big one, make sure you’re sipping lots of water. That’s not just for dry mouth it’s healthy anyway. Certain respirator infections can cause dry mouth. Low humidity can cause it, and the other thing is diabetes. If they have extreme dry mouth, and they drink a lot of water that’s a possible tell tale sign of type 2 diabetes, that’s when you go see your doctor.
Aside from the discomfort, dry mouth has a lot of problems that come with it. The number one dental related problem is cavities. Saliva is protective, it helps remineralize the teeth, flush the plaque away. If that’s not flowing in your mouth, the plaque is going to stick, you’ll be prone to cavities. Another effect is when you start swallowing when you speak. Another cause is stress, so hydration helps a lot. There are a lot of things we can do to help with dry mouth. You could try chewing a sugarless gum (Xylitol), frequent sips of water, mouthwash (without alcohol) alcohol will dry the mouth. Biotene mouthwash is another, we also have Xylitol tablets now. Talk to your dentist about that, it helps a lot with dry mouth, a humidifier at night.
If you’re noticing dry mouth we want to get to the bottom of it. Come see us, we’ll help you figure out what’s causing it. Bye for now!