DRY MOUTH

Many of you would have experienced dry mouth occasionally due to dehydration or other reasons. But unfortunately, a large number of people suffer from chronic dry mouth

 It is estimated that around 40% of the population over the age of 55 Years have chronic dry mouth.

Saliva in our mouth acts as a moisturizer to keep our mucosa moist and healthy, and also acts as a cleanser to constantly wash away the plaque on our teeth. Saliva also helps in neutralizing the acids produced by caries causing bacteria and also aids in the breakdown of the food we eat. So in the absence of these effects of saliva, people with dry mouth are more prone to cavities and also inflammation of mucosa inside their mouth.

Chronic dry mouth can be quite debilitating and have an adverse impact on day to day life. Patients experience difficulties eating,  talking and sore mouth and tongue due to dryness.

Some of the main causes of chronic dry mouth are aging, medications especially medications for high blood pressure and depression. Some other causes include Sjogren’s syndrome which is an autoimmune disease and diabetes.

 

If you have dry mouth: 

  1. Please visit us at Springfield Smiles regularly. Since you are at a higher risk for caries It is very important to get your check-up done regularly to detect any caries at an early stage. We recommend every 4 months check up for our high-risk patients.
  2. Use a prescription Fluoride toothpaste. It helps prevent cavities. We at Springfield Smiles can help you with this. Special Fl trays to use at home can also be made if needed. We recommend that you should brush and floss after every meal when possible.
  3. There are a number of OTC dry mouth products available like gels, sprays, and lozenges. Talk to us and we will help you find the right product
  4. Chew sugar-free gum, it helps in inducing salivary flow and also helps clean your teeth in between brushing.
  5. Sipping on water throughout the day. 
  6. Prescription medications might be needed on very rare occasions.
Author
Dr Heggade DDS

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