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Help Me! My Mouth is so DRY!!

Are you suffering from xerostomia? Xerostomia is the medical term used to describe a patient’s state of having a “dry mouth”.

There are many factors that contribute to xerostomia. One of the causes of the dreaded “dry mouth condition” include cancer treatments with chemotherapy and/or cancer treatments with radiation of the head and neck area. With radiation there may be no saliva present if the salivary glands are irradiated. Another cause of xerostomia can be your daily medication. There are over 1,000 medications that can cause dry mouth including blood pressure meds, allergy meds, heart disease meds and depression meds just to name a few. Hormonal changes as we age can also contribute to your odds of developing xerostomia. Also, dehydration, diabetes type 1 and 2, rheumatoid arthritis, and auotimmune diseases can cause dry mouth as well.

There are multiple awarenesses you should have if you are suffering from xerostomia for any of these reasons. It is very important to keep your teeth “wet” by introducing as much water as possible into your mouth. Always have a bottle of water on hand, use saliva producing products with xylitol (ie: sugar free gums containing xylitol or xylimelts), and ask your dentist which products they recommend as far as rinses, toothpastes, mouthwash, etc. This is crucial because xerostomia patients are at much higher risk for dental caries, malnutrition, difficulties in speech and taste and an overall disruption in quality of life.

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Have a happy day and drink 64 ounces of water today!