Treatments for Dry Mouth

Do you have trouble spitting your words out because of a dry mouth?

It is easy to make jokes about dry mouth but it really isn’t funny if you deal with it every day. Last time we wrote that often medications cause dry mouth (xerostomia). Cardiovascular drugs and antidepressants are two of the main culprits.

Treatments are either non prescription or prescription. Non prescription products found in drug stores are artificial saliva products such as Biotene gel, Glandosane moisturizer,  and Salivart synthetic saliva. Others items include Biotene gum, toothpaste and mouthwash as well as Moi-Stir Oral Swabsticks.

For severe dryness such as with Sjogrens’ syndrome or post head and neck radiation, your physician can prescribe Salagen or Evoxac but it may take a while for these to produce results.

What Is Xerostomia?

Do you have some problems with eating dry foods such as crackers and cereals, have frequent denture sores, bad breath, or lipstick sticking to your front teeth? You may be one of many adults with xerostomia or dry mouth.

According to Dr. Cathy Bartels, a pharmacist with the University of Montana, xerostomia affects at least 20% of the older population and this may be related more to medications rather than age.

A dry mouth can be very uncomfortable, may cause your tongue to stick to your palate, create cracks at the corners of your mouth, or an overgrowth of Candida, a fungus, among other things.

Over 400 medications are implicated in reduced salivary flow. And of course, certain diseases and radiation therapy create a dry mouth. Next time, we will look at some treatments for xerostomia.

Smile, You’re On Camera!

Recently our office has been incorporating more photography to help our patients see how their teeth look from the front and from the side, the way other people see them. We also take a picture of a view inside the mouth so that they can see the chewing surfaces and the condition of their teeth and any crowns or fillings.

Many of us look at our x-rays and try to figure out what the dentist is seeing. When we use photography, it is so much easier to see what the dentist or assistant is talking about.

When, we put both the x-rays and photographs enlarged on the computer screen, a patient doesn’t have to take a dentist’s word for what may need correcting, they can see for themselves.