Tips for patients with dry mouth

Dry mouth?

We have all had dry mouth from time to time; however, if dry mouth is a chronic problem, it can not only be an annoyance but also can have negative impact on your oral health.  Fortunately, there may be things you can do. If you are taking certain medications for which dry mouth is a side-effect, check with your doctor about alternatives such as changing your dose or changing your prescription. There are a number of products such as gels or rinses your dentist may suggest. Xylitol candies are a great choice as they stimulate saliva flow. Chewing sugar-free gum also helps with stimulation of saliva production. Of course, staying adequately hydrated is important as well.

Why is dry mouth a problem? Dry mouth is more than an inconvinience; it can cause difficulty in tasting, eating, and swallowing, chronic bad breath, mouth sores, and the feeling of a dry or sore throat.  Additionally, dry mouth raises your risk for gingivitis and tooth decay. It can make wearing dentures difficult as well. 

Besides keeping your mouth moist, saliva is important in breaking down foods and helping you swallow. It also acts as a cleanser. With plaque-acid neutralizing capabilities, it constantly washes around your teeth and gums to fight tooth decay. 

If you suffer from dry mouth, schedule an appointment with Dr. Nancy Rotroff or Dr. Gerard Wasselle in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, at least twice per year to check for any tooth decay.  People with dry mouth are at a higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease.  Your dentist will recommend a flouride toothpaste that is right for you as well as recommend treatments or products to help combat dry mouth. Call our office at 954-928-1666 to schedule your appointment!

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