Many people suffer from dry mouth. People who have dry mouth do not produce enough saliva. This condition can cause mouth discomfort, bad breath and dental problems and even trouble speaking and eating. Talk with your Dentist or Orthodontist and discuss treatment options and habit choices to help remedy your symptoms.
Here’s a list of the most common causes:
1. Certain medications
2. Illnesses, including Parkinson, Alzheimer, or diabetes
3. Cancer treatments
Some daily habits may contribute to dry mouth, because they tend dry out the mouth. Smoking, drinking alcoholic and caffeinated beverages, as well as spicy and salty foods and even mouthwash with alcohol, can reduce saliva production. So if you, for example, are taking a medication that tends to dry out your mouth, making other daily choices can exaggerate the medicine’s drying effect.
Here are some easy fixes that you can try, after consulting with your dental professional:
1. Drink water throughout the day
2. Chew sugarless gum or suck on sugarless candy, to increase natural saliva production
3. Use special toothpastes, lozenges and mouth rinses specifically designed for people with dry mouth. Ask your Dentist or Orthodontist for these recommendations.
4. Talk to your medical doctor about other medication options, if your current medication is causing dry mouth.
Dry mouth can be caused by many things, so it’s important talk with your dental professional to determine the cause(s) and come up with a strategy to remedy the problem.
New Treatment Options for Dry Mouth
Many of these remedies utilize mouth rinses, chewing gums and lozenges to alleviate dry mouth during the day, while you’re awake. Here’s a list and description of some of the newest methods to help treat dry mouth:
1. I found a new product that works to help relieve dry mouth while you sleep. The concept is pretty simple. A small disc sticks inside your mouth which slowly releases xylitol while you sleep. Xylitol acts not only as a mouth lubricant and increase saliva production, it helps reduce mouth bacteria, which in turn reduces plaque formation and cavities. It’s also important to note, mouth saliva flow slows downs while you sleep, so if you already have problems with dry mouth, nighttime can be extra problematic. This new product is called Xylimelts and it’s made by Oracoat; they’re available at most drug stores. They have a nice mint flavor, and are nonacidic. If you can’t find them near you, they also sell them on their website: oracoat.com.
2. In cases where a patient’s salivary glands have been damaged, for example due to radiation treatment for oral cancer, scientists have created devices to increase the flow of saliva. Recent studies have shown low level electrostimulation or TENS (transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation) can be employed to increase how much saliva a patient produces throughout the day. One device uses electrode pads put on either side of the cheeks to stimulate the parotid glands. Because the patient can feel and control the electric current, the studies lack a placebo control.
3. Another device (Saliwell) gets placed in the mouth, by way of a lower teeth custom mouth piece with built in low level electrodes and batteries. Since the level of electricity is too low to feel by the patient, scientists were able to perform studies, using placebo mouth pieces. In one study, patients placed the device in their mouth for five minutes, five times a day. Results showed a significant difference between the placebo and the acting device. Another 11 month study showed a marked subjective improvement in speech, mouth discomfort and adequate saliva production throughout the day and while eating. They didn’t see any significant adverse effects from using the device.
4. A new product developed by 3M, called Xerostomia Relief Spray relieves dry mouth for four to six hours. With just two quick sprays, 92% of patients experienced an improvement of their dry mouth condition. Since this new and convenient treatment is by prescription only, talk with your dentist about your dry mouth symptoms and ask if this new spray might help.
Untreated, dry mouth can increase your chances of getting cavities and developing gun disease. If you’re experiencing dry mouth symptoms, ask your Dentist or Orthodontist to recommend treatment options.
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