Dry Mouth

24 Nov

Dry Mouth (Xerostomia) is a disorder often associated with disorders of salivia production. It affects about 10% of people and is more common complaint in women than men. It can be a very uncomfortable condition and its symptoms vary in scope and severity.

Symptoms include

  • Difficulty eating, swallowing, speaking
  • Chapped lips and tongue
  • Burning sensation of tongue and throat
  • Dry throat
  • Bad breath
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Gum disease
  • Increased dental decay
  • Thrush infections
  • Inflammed soft tissue of mouth and throat

The causes of dry mouth include

  • Side effect of some medications – some blood pressure medications – some antihistamines – some antidepressants
  • Radiation treatments to head and neck
  • Diabetes
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Sjogren’s Syndrome
  • Lupus
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • During pregnancy
  • During breastfeeding
  • Mouth breathing
  • Sleep Apnea

Suggestions to relieve dryness

  • Take frequent sips of water
  • Use water spray bottle to moisten mouth
  • Chew sugarless gum to stimulate salivia flow
  • Suck sugarless hard candy eg sugar free lozenges
  • Suck ice blocks
  • Drink frequently while eating. This will make chewing and swallowing easier and may improve taste
  • Use non spicey, bland gravies as accompaniment to dishes
  • Limit caffeine. many patents report increased dryness after drinking caffeine beverages
  • Saliva substitute (over the counter or from your dentist) GC Dry Mouth, Biotene Oral Balance
  • Dry Mouth Mouthwash such as Biotene Dry Mouth Oral Rinse

Regular visits to your dentist are suggested to proactively treat associated increase in dental decay and gum disease

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