Dry Mouth Causes and Treatment
Dry Mouth – Causes and Treatment
Saliva helps to prevent tooth decay, makes food easier to chew and
swallow, and helps with digestion. Although dry mouth, also called xerostomia, is associated with aging, studies have determined that salivary gland function is well preserved in the healthy geriatric population. However, saliva seems to undergo chemical changes and become thick and viscous as people age.
Xerostomia can affect oral health, speech, and the taste of food, and can
also result in bad breath and sores or split skin at the corners of the mouth.
Dry mouth is often a side effect of medications used to treat depression,
antihistamines, antidiarrheals, antihypertensives, muscle relaxants, and drugs for urinary incontinence and Parkinson’s disease. Other causes of decreased salivation can include cancer chemotherapy, damage to the salivary glands from radiation treatments, injury to the nerves in the head or neck, autoimmune diseases such as Sjogren’s syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, smoking or
chewing tobacco, chronic mouth breathing, dehydration, diabetes mellitus,
kidney disease, and thyroid dysfunction. If the cause of the problem can not be changed, it may be helpful to suck on sugar-free hard candy or chew sugar-free gum. It is always important to drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration, unless fluid consumption is restricted by a medical condition. Saliva substitutes are also available, but are often inconvenient and not very effective. Your dentist or
physician can also prescribe a medication that can increase saliva production. Please call us to discuss available options.Copyright 2002, Storey Marketing – Monthly Website Updates. Reproduction prohibited. Subscription available through Storey Marketing (814-337-3441). Questions
regarding this article should be directed to the compounding professionals at Martin Avenue Pharmacy, Inc.
Copyright 2002, Storey Marketing – Monthly Website Updates. Reproduction
prohibited. Subscription available through Storey Marketing (814-337-3441). Questions regarding this article should be directed to the compounding professionals at Martin Avenue Pharmacy, Inc.