Posts Tagged ‘medications causing dry mouth’

Medication Induced Dry Mouth

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Did you know that more than 500 medications can contribute to a dry mouth, including antihistamines, blood pressure medications, decongestants, pain medications, diuretics and antidepressants? In its most severe forms, dry mouth can lead to extensive tooth decay, mouth sores and oral infections, particularly among the elderly. Because older adults frequently use one or more of these medications they are considered at significantly higher risk of experiencing dry mouth (xerostomia).

Saliva is necessary for maintaining oral health by providing a mineral rich solution which helps keep your teeth strong and resistant to decay. It also helps with the passage of food through the oral cavity. Important enzymes in saliva indicate the breakdown of food to begin the digestive process after mastication (chewing).

Dry Mouth becomes a problem where symptoms occur all or most of the time. Drying irritates the soft tissues in the mouth and causes inflammation and infection.

Radiation of the head and neck causes salivary gland shrinkage (atresia).

Increasing fluid intake, chewing sugarless gum, taking frequent sips of water or sucking on ice chips helps to reduce dry mouth. Avoid intake of caffeine, alcohol and carbonated drinks. Saliva substitutes, such as Salogon (synthetic saliva), can be taken before meals helps to keep your mouth wet.

You dentist can help you manage this bothersome condition.