Fox News (5/17) reported that “apart from being annoying, dry mouth can cause bad breath, and, in some extreme cases, tooth decay,” though there are “various steps” patients can take in order to avoid it. One dentist says that patients should consider the medications they are taking, which may dry the mouth, avoid products that will dry out the mouth, and lastly should stimulate saliva flow by doing things like sipping water and using products that contain xylitol.
Here’s my recommendations:
With well over 400 medications KNOWN to cause dry mouth problems, attending to any symptoms of dry mouth should be dealt with immediately.
The first option is to contact your physician to see if there is an alternative medication you could take without the dry mouth side effect. Sometimes there is!
The second option is to use a product that can stimulate flow. DO NOT suck on hard candies or chew sugared gum, as these will exponentially increase your odds of having tooth decay. I generally suggest using a Biotene product, available at most groceries, pharmacies, and stores that carry any health care product. AVOID drinking water to moisten your mouth; it will only dilute the mucous properties of what saliva you may be producing. However, you do need plenty to water!
The third option is to use an artificial saliva. These will keep you mouth more comfortable longer, and are generally available without a prescription at most pharmacies.
Lastly, use a prescription fluoride toothpaste and have dental cleanings and exams at least twice a year, as people with dry mouth issues have special dental problems and needs.
Don’t ignore your dry mouth problem and end up with a disaster! Ask us for help.