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Philadelphia Dentist | Philadelphia dental care | PA | What can I do for dry mouth?

Robert S. Gurmankin, DMD

(215) 624-4415

What can I do for dry mouth?
AGD Member
 

  Causes of Dry Mouth:  


There are many potential causes for dry mouth (the technical term is Xerostomia). They include: certain prescription drugs (most common cause), certain over-the-counter medications, smoking, mouth breathing, anxiety, depression (& medications for depression), alcohol, caffeine, salty foods, stress, vitamin deficiencies, simply not drinking enough water, radiation and chemotherapy, arthritis, diabetes, menopause, Sjogren's Syndrome, Lupus, Parkinson’s disease.


 What drugs and medications can cause dry mouth?  

- High blood pressure medicines                       - Decongestants

- Antidepressants                                                - Narcotic pain relievers

- Tranquilizers                                                       - Chemotherapy agents

- Antihistamines                                                   - Antidiarrheals

- Anti-Parkinson agents                                      - Bronchodialators

- Antipsychotics


What problems might develop because of dry mouth?  

Rapid development of tooth decay

- Sore tissues

- Worsening periodontal disease

- Sore spots and ulcers under dentures

- Difficulty wearing dentures

- Mouth sores in non-denture wearers

- Breath doesn’t feel as fresh

- Difficulty chewing and swallowing  normal foods

- Difficulty tasting normal foods

- Difficulty speaking

- Burning sensation in the mouth

- Dry or painful tongue


How can I avoid destruction from rapid tooth decay?

- Avoid hidden sugars, such as cough drops, lemon drops, hard candy, breath mints, chewing gum, soda pop, etc.  People with dry mouths can get literally dozens of cavities in a matter of a few months.

- Use a prescription fluoride preparation.  These get more fluoride to the teeth than regular fluoride toothpaste.  They are available as a mouthrinse, brush-on gel, or a gel applied in a custom-made mouth tray.  Ask us for prescriptions, or construction of a custom fluoride tray. Prevident and Gel-Kam are examples.

- Maintain superior oral hygiene habits:  brush at least twice a day for two minutes per brushing, floss every day, and have your teeth cleaned/checked twice a year.


What will help relieve my dry mouth?

- Increase water intake throughout the day, and take frequent small sips

- Add moisture to the air with a humidifier.

- Protect lips with a balm.

- In cold weather keep mouth and nose covered with a scarf when outdoors.

- Don’t use tobacco or alcohol.

- Avoid strong toothpastes.

- Avoid mouthwashes containing alcohol.

- Use only toothpastes and mouthwashes that don’t contain sodium laurel sulfate.

- Avoid spicy and salty foods, and products containing cinnamon, peppermint, or wintergreen.

- Take a daily multi-vitamin.

- Use oral products that contains Xylitol.

- Be sure your doctors and pharmacist are aware of all the medications you are taking.

- Ask your doctor if your medications can be adjusted or changed.

- Use a saliva substitute or mouth moisturizers.

- Use sugarless hard candies to stimulate saliva flow.


What products  are available?

Mouthwashes

Oasis

Biotene Mouthwash

Tom’s of Maine Natural Mouthwash, Oral Moistening

Act Dry Mouth Rinse

Sprays

Mouth Kote mouth spray

Salivart Oral Moisturizer spray (carboxymethylcellulose)

Stoppers 4 Dry Mouth Spray (glycerin)

Thayers Dry Mouth Spray (glycerin)

Toothpastes

Biotene Dry Mouth Toothpaste

Rembrandt Toothpaste for Canker Sore Sufferers

TheraBreath Oxygenating Toothpaste

Tom’s of Maine Natural Anticavity & Dry Mouth Toothpaste

Act Dry Mouth Toothpaste

Gums, Mints

Biotene Dry Mouth Gum

XyliChew mints

Act Dry Mouth Lozenges

Gels

Orajel Dry Mouth Moisturizing Gel

Oral Balance Mouth Moisturizing Gel, by Biotene

Spry Dry Mouth Tooth Gel

Other

Biotene Dry Mouth Denture Grip

Salagen Tablets, 5mg (pilocarpine HCl); by prescription only


Where can I find these products?

- Stores carry a variety of products, but there is no one store that has them all.  Keep trying different stores.

- The pharmacist can help you locate some of these products.

 
 
Philadelphia Dentist. Dr. Robert Gurmankin provides Cosmetic Dentistry, Family Dentistry, Dental Implants, Dentures, Teeth Whitening, Dental Emergency, Dental Crowns to the following locations: Mayfair, Northeast Philadelphia, Holmesburg, Suburbs. Mayfair Dentist providing excellent dentistry including Cosmetic Dentistry, Family Dentistry, Dental Implants, Dentures, Teeth Whitening, Dental Emergency, Dental Crowns in Philadelphia, Mayfair, Northeast Philadelphia, Holmesburg, Suburbs, Pennsylvania. Updated in 2014.
 

 

Updated in 2016.