Dry mouth also called ‘xerostomia’ is the reduction in the quality and quantity of normal saliva in the mouth. It is thought to affect one in five adults in the UK. Saliva is vitally important as it protects the teeth and gums from damage as well as allowing you to eating speak and function day and night. As we get older our saliva flow can reduce too, so we could all benefit from knowing more about what to do if we are suffering from dry mouth.
What are the causes?
The most common reason for dry mouth is the high uptake in prescription medications. There are over 400 medications that can cause dry mouth. Other causes include some forms of arthritis that can damage the glands that produce saliva or radiotherapy treatments around the head and neck region. This disease can be very debilitating, as it affects our ability to swallow effectively, taste food and at night, sufferers may complain of regular broken sleep and tiredness. A big issue affecting dry mouth sufferers is the negative effect in their overall quality of life. A lack of normal quantity and quality of saliva in the mouth can adversely affect many of the everyday functions that we take for granted.
What is the treatment?
If you suffer from dry mouth you should visit you dental team regularly, as you may have a higher risk of dental caries (decay), soft tissue soreness (ulcers) and gum problem due to the condition. Your dentist may wish to prescribe ‘artificial saliva’ or work alongside a specialist hospital or your GP to care for your condition depending on severity. In nearly all cases your dentist will want to increase the strength of your toothpaste and provide you with mouthrinses that will help protect your teeth. The hygienist will also work on your gums if they are also susceptible.
What should I do?
Prevention is the best cure and early intervention is key to a good stable long term success as it can protect teeth from dental decay and reduce the chance of oral infections. It is important that you visit your dentist regularly to maintain good general oral health, and catch any problems early. Dental plans such as Denplan can means you can spread the cost of routine treatments, saving you from unexpected dental bills! At Confidental we a range of dental payment plans to suit most budgets.Back to Blog
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