More and more people are experiencing chronic dry mouth, a common side effect of medications prescribed for illnesses such as high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, allergies, weight loss, Parkinson’s disease, pain and many more. However, there are many other factors that contribute to a decrease in salivary production including the aging process, radiation treatments and depression.
At the Dallas, TX Dentist office, we know that dry mouth can be an uncomfortable and annoying condition. Aside from being annoying, the symptoms of dry mouth can lead to significant problems with the state of your oral health.
Each time we swallow, saliva takes with it bacteria as well as the food and debris on which they feed. Saliva contains compounds that kill bacteria in the mouth, and without proper dental hygiene dry mouth enhances the conditions for bacterial growth (and associated periodontal disease) as the ability to neutralize bacterial waste products is reduced.
If you’re experiencing chronic dry mouth and you suspect that it may be due to medication, your dentist will recommend that you consult with your primary care physician. He or she may be able to adjust your dosage or recommend a different brand of medication to help alleviate the problem.
Some other steps you can take to reduce symptoms of chronic dry mouth are:
- Chew sugar-free candy or gum
- Drink plenty of water to help keep your mouth moist
- Use a vaporizer to add moisture to the air in your bedroom
- Use an artificial saliva substitute available at your pharmacy
The reduction in saliva production leads to the very conditions on which the bacteria in your mouth thrive, allowing bacteria lingering at the gumline and between teeth to cause serious damage, periodontal disease or gingivitis.
Since patients with Xerostomia (dry mouth) are at increased risk for periodontal disease, good dental hygiene – brushing regularly with fluoride toothpaste, using a fluoride rinse, and visiting your Dallas, TX Dentist frequently for cleanings and examinations – are critically important to your oral health.