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Oral Care Topics
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What is Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)?

Dry Mouth, known as Xerostomia, occurs when the salivary glands are damaged and/or not functioning properly. Insufficient saliva will manifest various symptoms including a burning sensation and difficulty in speaking, swallowing, chewing, and loss of taste. Persistent dry mouth can lead to cavities, fungal infections (Thrush), increased bacterial growth, sores and soft tissue inflammation (Gingivitis). It is important to identify the underlying cause and to apply a sustainable and effective daily oral relief protocol. 

The cause of insufficient saliva production can come from one or more sources. What's important to understand is that Dry Mouth is typically NOT RECOGNIZED until it has advanced, that most people fail to seek timely consultation and treatment by a medical or dental professional, that the disease is PROGRESSIVE and that it generally leads to additional serious oral complications over time.

Factors Contributing to Dry Mouth:
  • Combinative Use of Prescriptive Medications
  • Aging
  • Cancer Therapy
  • Dentures
  • Nerve Damage
  • Poor Oral Hygiene
  • Tobacco Use
  • Nutritional Deficiencies
  • Stress
  • Substance Abuse
  • Occupational Hazards
  • Environmental Hazards
Health Conditions Contributing to Dry Mouth:
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
  • High Blood Pressure - Hypertension
  • Sj√∂gren's Syndrome and Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Asthma
  • Anxiety/Depression
  • Chronic Pain
  • Cancer
  • Obesity
  • Connective Tissue Disorders
  • Alzheimer's
  • MS - Parkinson's
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Post Traumatic Stress
  • Pregnancy
MEDICAL ALERT - Prescription Medications Cause Dry Mouth
Saliva is a key component of the bodies immune system and any medication that is prescribed to treat a host of medical conditions should be considered a possible cause of dry mouth. Patients should read all drug information provided with prescription medicines and consult with their healthcare provider if symptoms of dry mouth occur. 

"Epidemic levels of the incidence of dry mouth, induced by daily use of one or more commonly prescribed medications, are reported by U.S. health care professionals and agencies."

-- Dr. Jeffrey Hameroff, DDS, Periodontal Surgeon

Hundreds of medications, including some over-the-counter drugs, produce dry mouth as a negative side effect. Simply taking these medications increases your susceptibility to dry mouth, however, research suggests other factors and conditions can lead to Dry Mouth.

Drugs That Can Cause Xerostomia
  • Antidepressants
  • Antibiotics
  • Corticosteroids
  • Antihistamines
  • Analgesics (Painkillers)
  • Asthma Inhalers
  • Statins
  • Diuretics
Warning labels on these prescription medications list possible oral side effects under one or more of the following classifications:
"Adverse reactions"
"Possible common side effects"
"Most common side effects"
"Treatment emergent adverse events"
Adverse Oral Reactions/Side Effects Linked to Prescription Medications:
"Dry mouth"
"Oral thrush"
"Mouth sores"
"Throat irritation"
"Dryness of throat"