30% of Americans suffer from some level of dry mouth (xerostomia). Stress, cancer treatment, diabetes, hormonal imbalance, Sjogren’s Syndrome and medications can cause dry mouth. Medication is the most frequent cause. Several hundred medications cause dry mouth, including medications for high blood pressure, antidepressants, pain killers, tranquilizers, diuretics and antihistamines.
Saliva is the mouth’s primary defense against tooth decay. It washes away food and debris, neutralizes acid produced by bacteria and provides disease-fighting substances throughout the mouth, offering first-line protection against microbial invasion.
Come to see Dr McCosh and let her know that you are suffering from dry mouth. She can evaluate and help you to reduce the risk for rampant tooth decay.
Some general suggestion to treat dry mouth:
- Drink water regularly throughout the day (walk around with a little bottle – do not add lime to it).
- Suck on ice chips (do no chew them).
- Chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free candy to activate salivary glands.
- Do not use mouthwash that contains alcohol.
- Reduce caffeine, stop smoking.
- Mix equal part of water and glycerin. Spray regularly for temporary relief.
- Ask your doctor for a prescription for strong fluoride toothpaste.
- If dry mouth caused by new medication, discuss problem with your doctor . He might modify your dosage or give you a different one to reduce your symptoms. Do not change or stop your prescription medication without talking to your doctor.
- Eating low-sugar, low-acid, moist foods make eating easier.