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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.  Other causes of Dry Mouth include diabetes, hypothyroidism and other auto-immune diseases.
  • Saliva buffers acids and corrects low pH, removes debris, remineralizes teeth and adds lubrication to support speech, eating and swallowing.
  • Xerostomia will not be noticed until there is a 50% decrease in saliva flow.


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 Xylitol (e.g. Ice Breakers Cubes) 2-3 times per day.
  • Fluoride varnish treatment at the dental office (fluoride hardens teeth).
  • ACT Dry Mouth mouthwash (fluoride rinse with some lubricant)
  • Saliva substitute sprays or mouthwashes, e.g. Biotene or Oasis
  • Biotene Oral Balance Gel / OraJel Dry Mouth Moisturizing Gel / GUM Hydral Dry Mouth Relief Gel (Apply to your tongue and cheeks before bedtime).  Gels will last longer than mouthwashes and sprays, so ideal for overnight treatment.
  • Utilize Xylimelts that adhere to the inside of your cheek to help lubricate your mouth.
  • Prevident 5000+ toothpaste (prescription).
  • Use a room humidifier in the wintertime
  • Fluoride trays for at-home delivery, 2 – 3 times per week.
  • Medication that stimulates saliva production (prescription).

This is not a complete list of what is available commercially, but we have seen good results with these suggestions.

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