Your Fishers Dentist Shares Tips for Dry Mouth Relief
Unfortunately, many patients experience constant dry mouth or xerostomia. While everyone at some point may experience dry mouth, patients with chronic dry mouth are faced with painful eating and speaking. Dry mouth is typically caused by a disruption in the salivary glands and an inability to properly produce saliva. Saliva is vital to eating, digestion, talking and other other functions of the mouth. It’s also our mouth’s defense system against bacteria and fungi.
One of the most common causes of dry mouth is related to side effects from prescription and nonprescription drugs including drugs that are used to treat depression, anxiety, pain, allergies and colds like antihistamines and decongestants, obesity, acne, epilepsy, hypertension, diarrhea, psychotic disorders, urinary incontinence, asthma, and Parkinson’s disease. With a long list of prescription drugs that cause dry mouth, it’s no wonder many patients suffer from it. Another cause of dry mouth can occur in patients with medical conditions including Sjögren's syndrome, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, anemia, cystic fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and mumps. Patients should also avoid smoking or chewing tobacco products since this can aggravate dry mouth. Damage to the salivary glands from chemotherapy and radiation treatments can also reduce the amount of saliva produced.
In order to treat dry mouth, you’ll need to talk to your Fishers dentist and medical doctor about any medications or conditions that you have. Your medical doctor may have to switch you to a different drug or lower your dosage in order to avoid dry mouth. Your Fishers dentist may prescribe you with an oral rinse in order to restore moisture to your mouth. If this doesn’t help, there are medications that boost saliva production including the prescription drug Salagen. Some natural at-home remedies for dry mouth relief include sucking on sugar-free candy or chewing sugar-free gum, which can help to stimulate saliva. Make sure you drink plenty of water to help keep your mouth moist. If you brush with a fluoride toothpaste, also try using a fluoride rinse. Make sure you're breathing through your nose and not through your mouth since mouth breathing can aggravate dry mouth. While sleeping, you can try using a room vaporizer in order to add more moisture to the air. This will help patients who breathe through their mouth at night. You can also try an over-the-counter artificial saliva substitute.
Your Fishers dentist knows how irksome a dry mouth can be. If you still have questions or need personalized assistance for treating dry mouth, feel free to call Noblesville Family Dentistry at (317) 773-1302. You may also need to speak with your medical doctor regarding the treatment of dry mouth, especially if you have any of the above medications or conditions.