Clinically known as “Xerostomia,” dry mouth is a common side-effect of common medications, medical conditions, and aging. Even drugs as simple as over the counter allergy pills can cause your mouth to dry out. People undergoing radiation or chemotherapy may also experience the effects of reduced salivary output.
Although it may not seem like such a huge concern, dry mouth can lead to big problems when it goes on for a long time. It’s not just eating and speaking that become more difficult; your teeth can start to dry out too.
Losing the Saliva “Buffer”
Saliva helps neutralize pH levels inside of your mouth, keep things lubricated, and manage biofilm or food debris after meals. But without it, acid levels can rise, and teeth tend to develop more cavities than normal.
If you’re taking medications that are prone to causing xerostomia or know you’ll be undergoing cancer therapy, it’s important to take steps to counteract dry mouth symptoms before tooth decay becomes an issue. Working closely with your dentist is a great place to start.
Strengthen Your Teeth
Here are a few ways to combat dry mouth and the cavities that tend to develop along with it:
• Sip on water frequently throughout the day
• Choose sugar-free mints or gums to stimulate saliva flow
• Supplement with high-strength fluoride each night before bed
• Schedule regular checkups to intervene when cavities are their smallest
Talk to a dentist about other options like saliva substitutes and xerostomia products that may be helpful. Schedule your dry mouth consultation today to learn more.