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Posts for: January, 2015

By Kent B. Molino, DDS & Todd L. Vaccaro, DDS
January 28, 2015
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

Treating the symptoms of dry mouth can make a huge difference in your sleeping, eating, and social habits.

Dry mouth, scientifically known as xerostomia, is a very common condition affecting about 20% of the population. It is usually caused by changes in saliva output or quality, although it may also be idiopathic (having no known cause). Most often, it is a side effect of medication, or a result of mouthbreathing due to upper respiratory problems. Over time, chronic dry mouth can lead to difficulty swallowing or talking, bad breath and cavities. Here are a few options for treating xerostomia:

Changing medication

One of the first steps your family dentist in Niskayuna will take is determining if your dry mouth is being caused by the medicines you are currently taking. Over 500 medications, including antihistamines, antidepressants, and diuretics, are known to cause dry mouth. Your dentist may then relay this information to your general practitioner, who can then adjust your dosage or change your medication altogether.

Artificial saliva

There are several substitutes for saliva available, ranging from water to mucin- or cellulose-based oral moisturizers that come in an aerosol container. Because their effects are not long-lasting, they are not designed to be a cure; they offer temporary relief of dry mouth symptoms.

Saliva stimulants

To encourage the production of saliva, organic acids (like those found in citrus fruits), sugar-free gum and mints, and various medications may be suggested. These are typically only useful in those who have retained some level of salivary function.

Use your nose

People who breathe through their mouths often have allergies or other upper respiratory problems that reduce the air flow through their nose. If these problems are successfully treated, mouth dryness will likely resolve as well. A dentist may also offer fluoride trays to be worn for a few minutes each day in order to stave off cavities.

If dry mouth persists or presents with other issues, your symptoms should be cross-checked with your doctor to rule out any possible underlying diseases, such as diabetes, hyperthyroidism or kidney problems.

Does your mouth feel less hydrated than a desert? Work with your Niskayuna family dentists at Molino and Vaccaro Dental to solve the mystery of your dry mouth!