Dry mouth (Xerostomia) is a problem faced by many folks which can be difficult to diagnose and treat. The most common cause among adults is various prescription medications. Sometimes our well meaning physicians prescribe medications independently of each other, the result being a multitude of dry mouth causing medications that potentiate each other, making the problem that much worse.
There are over 400 medications that cause dry mouth! Please speak with us as soon as possible if you are experiencing any of these problems. In the meantime, here are some tips to deal with dry mouth!
- Frequent sips of water will keep the mouth moist.
- Sleeping with a humidifier nearby will help moisten nasal passages.
- Only use alcohol free mouth rinses. (Alcohol dries out the oral tissues.)
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol and carbonated beverages, all of which can cause dry mouth.
- Chew Xylitol sweetened gum to stimulate salivary flow.
- Use over the counter (OTC) products like Biotene (toothpaste, mouth rinse, gum spray and mouth moisturizer.)
- Avoid tobacco in all forms. Tobacco encourages the growth of oral bacteria and irritates the nose and sinuses making them more vulnerable to infection.
- Check to make sure any medications you are taking do not cause dry mouth.
- Ask your dentist, physician about prescription medications that can increase salivary flow.
- See your dentist regularly!!
In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding dry mouth, don’t hesitate ask us the next time you visit our office Dr. Laurence Stone in Doylestown, PA , or feel free to contact me or the staff at my office any time at 215-230-7667.
Photo courtesy of cdc.gov
In July I wrote a blog about 15 drugs that can cause dry mouth (Xerostomia).There are actually hundreds of medications that can cause dry mouth, a particularly nasty problem that can cause rampant tooth decay, oral infections, difficulty in chewing and swallowing, and otherwise make people miserable. Xerostomia can also be especially difficult to treat, so I am suggesting a few simple things you can do to help in treating dry mouth to manage this malady.
- Sip water throughout the day.
- Suck on ice (but do not chew it!).
- Discontinue alcohol (including mouthwashes containing alcohol), caffeine and sodas – all of which can dry out the mouth.
- Humidify your sleeping area with a cool mist vaporizer.
- Keep your lips lubricated with lanolin or Lansinoh, an over-the counter (OTC) ointment.
- Use fluoride supplements to fight decay.
- Consider using Biotene (OTC) oral care products including their toothpaste, mouth rinse and mouth moisturizing gel.Taken together, the Biotene products constitute an “enzyme replacement system” which can be very beneficial for dry mouth patients.
I hope these simple suggestions help if you suffer from dry mouth. As always, please contact me or the staff at my office, Dr. Laurence Stone in Doylestown, PA with any questions or concerns or to schedule your next visit so we can talk more about this. See you soon!
Xerostomia (dry mouth), is a serious dental problem affecting millions of people.
Saliva has antibacterial properties and when we don’t have enough of it we can suffer
from increased tooth decay and gum disease. Additionally, dry mouth makes it difficult for denture wearers to tolerate their appliances and affects our ability to taste the foods we enjoy.
According to a study by Clinical Research Associates, of the top 20 most prescribed drugs in the U. S. in 2010, the following 15 have been associated with Xerostomia:
- Hydrocodone/Acetaminophen – a narcotic
- Lisinopril (Prinivil,Zestril) – an antihypertensive
- Simvastatin (Zocor) – an antiperlipidemic to fight cholesterol
- Amlodipine (Norvasc) – an antihypertensive
- Alprazolam (Xanax) – an anti-anxiety medication
- Hydrochlorothiazide – a diuretic
- Omeprazole (Prilosec) – an anti-ulcer agent
- Atorvastatin calcium (Lipitor)– an antihyperlipidemic to fight cholesterol
- Furosemide (Lasix) – a diuretic
- Metoprolol Tartrate (Lopressor) – an antihypertensive
- Sertraline HCL (Zoloft) – an antidepressant
- Metoprolol Succinate (Toprol) – an antihypertensive
- Zolpidem (Ambien) – a sedative/hypnotic
- Oxycodone/Acetaminophen (Percocet) – a narcotic
- Citalopram Hydrobromide (Celexa) – an antidepressant
The average 60-year-old in this country is taking at least three prescription medications daily. If you believe you suffer from drug-induced Xerostomia or just feel like you have a dry mouth in general, ask us about it. There are many treatments available to help with this potentially serious problem.
Any questions? Don’t hesitate to contact me or the office, Dr. Laurence Stone in Doylestown, PA, today to schedule your next appointment and we can talk more about this. See you soon!
(Hint: Think Desert)
One of the most serious problems facing the dental profession today Is dry mouth (xerostomia).
First of all, let’s look at what produces dry mouth. There are actually many reasons you could experience dry mouth including:
- Medications – there are over 400 medications that create dry mouth as a side effect
- Aging – aging salivary glands naturally produce less saliva
Why is dry mouth such a problem?
Your saliva not only contains enzymes (naturally produced chemical compounds) that aid in the digestive process, but it also contains antibacterial elements that fight tooth decay and gum disease.
So, you can imagine that without an adequate quantity and quality of saliva, our mouths can suffer from the ravages of tooth decay and gum disease.
What are the signs of dry mouth?
- A cottony feeling in the mouth
- Difficulty in chewing food properly
- Difficulty swallowing
- Alterations in taste
What can you do?
There are many things we can do to help alleviate xerostomia.
- First on my list is keeping adequately hydrated, by drinking enough water.
- Use products like Biotene that are specifically designed to help alleviate the problem.
- Avoid foods high in acid content like sodas, which can demineralize the teeth.
- Chew Xylitol gum. Xylitol is an all natural sugar substitute that kills the bacteria that cause tooth decay and the very act of chewing stimulates salivary flow!
Also, call our office and request a salivary test! There are new diagnostic tests that are easy and painless that will guide us in customizing a treatment for you if you are suffering from dry mouth!