What is Xerostomia?
Xerostomia can be a very serious condition affecting both dental health and even the quality of life for patients. Several medical conditions and radiation therapy for cancer can cause xerostomia.
The most common cause of severe dry mouth is the use of multiple medications. Nearly all medications seem to list dry mouth as a potential side-effect. Older patients are often on multiple medications, each one adding to the possible problem of xerostomia.
If your physician has recently added a medication and you notice a sudden decrease in saliva, there may be other medications that have the same function but will not affect your salivary flow as much. Please discuss this with your physician. People with dry mouth are at a greatly increased risk for rapidly developing multiple, large cavities (due to the reduced buffering action of saliva and using sugar containing candies/drinks to help increase salivary flow).
Tips for treating Xerostomia:
– Consult with your physician for change or reduction of medications
– Drinking plenty of water throughout the day to ensure proper hydration
– Chewing SUGAR FREE gum (preferably containing the natural sweetener xylitol)
– Using SUGAR FREE hard candy
– Using over the counter aids in mouth moisturizing (i.e. – Biotene)