5 Tips to Treat Dry Mouth

Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is a dental condition impacting about 20 percent of all older adults. The lack of normal saliva treat-dry-mouthflow that characterizes dry mouth can be caused by prescription medications such as those to treat allergies, incontinence, or Parkinson’s disease, or by medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, or Sjogren’s syndrome. If a patient has undergone radiation or chemotherapy treatment, they may also struggle with the symptoms of dry mouth.

Proper treatment of dry mouth is important. Our saliva lubricates our oral tissues and assists in warding off tooth decay, as well as bacterial or fungal threats to our mouth. Two other key benefits of normal saliva flow are that it assists in the remineralization of our teeth and the digestion of our food.

If you have dry mouth, your dentist can help you minimize its effects on your oral health. Here are five common ways that this condition is treated.

5 Tips For Fighting Dry Mouth

  1. Drink plenty of water daily. Ensuring your intake of water is adequate (most people need eight 8-ounce glasses per day) increases saliva production and clears the mouth of debris left behind by what you eat.
  2. Brush and floss daily. Your dentist can recommend an optimal oral hygiene regimen to keep your teeth and gums strong.
  3. Chew sugar-free gum or mints with xylitol. Use of these items stimulates saliva production. The xylitol can also protect your teeth from decay.
  4. Receive additional fluoride treatments if recommended by your dentist. He or she may advise you to use a daily fluoride rinse or gel, or receive a in-office fluoride treatment.
  5. Discuss with your dentist and other medical providers the medicines you take. In some cases, it is possible to replace a medicine that has dry mouth as a possible side effect with one that does not.

“There are effective ways to treat dry mouth – all of them depend up on your ability to communicate with your dental provider about what you’re experiencing and how it’s affecting you,” says Dr. Carol Ford, a cosmetic dentist and founder of Dr. Carol Ford & Associates in central Phoenix.

 

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