Oral health is an important part of your overall health. This is why dentists, doctors, and pharmacists make it a point to help patients who are on medications that cause dry mouth. Many medications cause dry mouth. In fact, over 500 medications ranging from blood pressure meds to pain meds to decongestants are linked to dry mouth.
With about half of the American population one some type of medication, it’s highly likely that a large portion of the population is suffering from dry mouth.
Also known as xerostomia, dry mouth causes sores, infection, and tooth decay if it is not addressed. This is because when we are functioning normally we produce about a liter and a half of saliva. Saliva is full of minerals and makes it easier for us to talk, swallow, tate, and digest food. It also helps to maintain our oral health by keeping our teeth strong and warding off infection.
Signs and symptoms
Dry mouth is likely something will experience at one point or another. Temporary bouts of dry mouth due to talking for a long time or being nervous aren’t harmful. The real issue starts when dry mouth persists for a long time. The longer a person is on a medication that causes dry mouth, the more likely it is to need to be treated.
Symptoms of dry mouth aside from a dry feeling in the mouth include sores, dry and cracked lips, and the presence of an oral infection. You might also notice persistent bad breath.
Oftentimes a person with dry mouth will experience inflamed gums, because they are not being coated in saliva.
What happens when a person suffers from dry mouth?
Dry mouth is often the result of reduced salivary production. Decreased saliva flow is caused by a decrease in functioning of your salivary glands. The most common reason for dry mouth is medications, however, aging and autoimmune conditions might also cause dry mouth.
How to relieve dry mouth
If you believe you suffer from medication induced dry mouth, we recommend you contact us and come in for an appointment. We can look for any problems that might have been caused by dry mouth and address those.
Additionally, there are several at home remedies that we recommend to patients. These include increasing your overall fluid intake. If you’re already drinking at least eight glasses of water a day we recommend you continue to increase it and sip it regularly throughout the day.
We also recommend you chew sugarless gum, suck on ice chips, and avoid tobacco and caffeine. Additionally, if dry mouth is causing your lips to be dry try using lip moisturizers.
If you have been suffering from medication induced dry mouth, contact us. We’ll ensure your mouth is protected from gum disease and infection and make sure that you are taken care of.