The dangers of a dry mouth (and how to reduce your risk)

The most common occurrence of dry mouth in humans is a result of dehydration – a condition easily remedied by the intake of fluids. Unfortunately, for many people who experience what is known as Chronic dry mouth, their condition is not always so easily improved. There are many possible instigators of a chronically dry mouth including: stress, anxiety, depression, smoking, alcohol consumption, mouth-breathing, caffeine consumption, autoimmune diseases, chemotherapy, and radiation treatment. There are also a variety of medications which include dry mouth as a side-effect.

What many people do not realize about saliva is that it has properties which protect and maintain the oral environment. Without such protection, bacteria are allowed a safe, movement-free place to colonize, acids are not reduced effectively (thus leaving teeth susceptible to rapid decay), and food is not broken down sufficiently before passing into the lower digestive system (often causing acid reflux which can damage teeth and tissues even further). Lack of saliva in some individuals has even led to a condition known as “dysphagia” (difficulty or inability to swallow).

If you are suffering from chronic dry mouth it can be very helpful to consult with your physician to find out if there are any medications which can be reduced or changed, or to ask your dentist if there are any lifestyle changes you can make to improve your oral health. Although there is not always a clear resolution to the problem of chronic dry mouth there are a variety of products which can help diminish the severity of the associated symptoms:

Toothpastes which do not contain a foaming agent (Sodium Laurel Sulphate) will not exacerbate dryness like traditional toothpastes often do:

-Breath Rx toothpaste

-Toms of Maine toothpastes

-Closys toothpaste

-Spry toothpaste with fluoride

 

Natural saliva stimulators can reduce dryness during the day and night:

-Biotene (www.biotene.com)

-Ice chips xylitol candy (www.icechipscandy.com)

-Oral Relief from “Med Active” (www.medactive.com)

-Orasoothe (www.orasoothe.com)

-Salese (www.salesedrymouth.com)

-Act Dry mouth (www.actoralcare.com)

-Neutra Sal (www.neutrasal.com)

-AllDay mouth spray (www.alldaydrymouthrelief.com)

-xylimelts (http://www.oracoat.com/products/xmdm)

 

pH balancing chews which can reduce the damage dealt by acids in the oral environment:

-Basic Bites (http://www.basicbites.com/)

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