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Dry Mouth

Posted in: Dentistry, by thecourtyardclinic, on 29th March 2010 | Comments Off on Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is also known as Xerostomia.

Not until we suffer from a dry mouth, do we appreciate the role of saliva.

People may suffer from low saliva production for many reasons.

The most common ones are:

  • Taking medication such as antidepressants, antihistamines and medication for treating high blood pressure.
  • After receiving radiation therapy in the head-neck area. This can damage the salivary cells and limit the production of saliva.
  • Suffering from other systemic diseases like Sjogren’s syndrome and diabetes.
  • Surgery to the neck area where the salivary glands are affected.
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol

As we age some of us will experience lower saliva production and hence a drier mouth.

The role of saliva:

  • Lubricates the mouth.
  • Protects the teeth from decay and gum disease.
  • Enzymes in the saliva soften and break down the food to make it easier to swallow and taste.
  • Protects the tongue, lips and the inside of the cheeks from drying up and cracking.
  • Facilitates speech.

What should I do if I have a dry mouth?

  • If dry mouth is caused by a specific medication, ask your doctor for alternative medicine if possible.
  • If the cause of your dry mouth is lower salivary gland function, try to stimulate it by chewing sugar free gums.
  • There are also medicines that could be prescribed by your dentist or doctor to stimulate the salivary glands.
  • If your saliva production is extremely low, you could use saliva replacing products.

Other tips that may help:

  • Visit your dentist regularly to monitor your oral health…this can mean 4 or 5 monthly check ups.
  • Use mouth lubricators to protect lips and tongue from cracking and to facilitate speech.
  • Drink sugar free fluids with food to facilitate chewing and swallowing and even for better digestion.
  • Brush your teeth and gums gently and meticulously to prevent decay and gum disease.
  • Rinse with mouth washes rich in Fluoride. Fluoride neutralises early decay and strengthens the surface of the tooth.
  • Avoid alcohol as it dehydrates the mouth.

Posted by Dr. Yasmin George.

It is one of the first things we notice when we meet someone for the first time, so it’s worth paying as much attention to your smile as you do to other aspects of your appearance.

We are an experienced dental team and are proud to deliver excellence, innovation and results that are second to none, using state of the art techniques in a practice dedicated to your comfort, wellbeing and most importantly, your smile.


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