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Dry Mouth

  • Affects approximately 25% of the population.
  • Increases susceptibility to decay (cavities) and fungal infection. Dentures become more difficult to retain.
  • Many medications cause a decrease in saliva flow.
  • Saliva buffers acids and corrects low pH, removes debris, remineralizes teeth and adds lubrication to support speech, eating and swallowing.
  • A patient may lose up to 50% of their protective saliva before they become aware of the problem.
  • If Dry Mouth goes unmanaged, there is a 3x greater risk of cavities.
  • It is important to be proactive.


Damage to mouth with Xerostomia

  • Avoid sticky, carbohydrate-rich foods, eliminate snacking and lower your sugar intake.
  • Avoid citrus juices, soda and Gatorade-type drinks which contain sugars and lowers pH. Sugar- based gum, candy, mints and cough drops should also be avoided.
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol (diuretics), and smoking.
  • Avoid alcohol-based mouthwashes (e.g. Listerine).
  • Sip water throughout the day and keep bedside.
  • Maintain vigilant oral hygiene. Dental hygiene visits at least 3 times per year.
  • Chew sugar free gum with Ca/PO4 (e.g. Trident XTRA CARE) or Xylitol (e.g. Ice Breakers Cubes) 2-3 times per day.
  • Fluoride varnish treatment at the dental office (fluoride hardens teeth).
  • ACT mouthwash (fluoride rinse)
  • Prevident 5000+ toothpaste (prescription).
  • Sugar-free yogurt to prevent fungal infection.
  • Saliva substitute sprays or mouthwashes.
  • Biotene Oral Balance or OraJel Dry Mouth Moisturizing Gel (Apply to your tongue and cheeks before bedtime).
  • MI Paste (Calcium and phosphate that will help with remineralization).
  • Use a room humidifier in the wintertime.
  • Medication that stimulates saliva production (prescription).

John F. Carpenter, DMD, MAGD
272 Quassaick Ave., New Windsor, NY 12553