Managing Dry Mouth

Dry mouth results from a reduced flow or absence of saliva, and its prevalence increases with age. The most common cause of dry mouth is medication use, with more than 500 frequently prescribed drugs listing dry mouth as a side effect. For patients who take multiple medications, the likelihood of dry mouth is further increased – and it includes many older patients. Dry Mouth can also lead to an increased risk of cavities, gingivitis (gum disease), and bad breath.

Main Causes of Dry Mouth:

  • Side effect of certain medications
  • Side effect of certain diseases and infections like Sjogren’s Syndrome and other auto-immune diseases
  • Side effect of certain medical treatments like radiation and chemotherapy

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Did You Know…

 

1 Oong EM, et al. Estimates of dry mouth in adults U.S. population. NHANES. 1999-2002. IADR/AADR/CADR, 2007, Abstract #0961

2 Douglas L. Managing Xerostomia. Vital 6, 32-34 (1 March 2009). I doi:10.1038/vital944