Xerostomia – Dry Mouth
Dry mouth problems cause an increasingly debilitating problem in the community
Xerostomia or dry mouth is on the rise for numerous reasons. Multi medications in the over 50 age group, many over-the-counter and alternative supplements will reduce saliva flow. All our common household drugs like alcohol, caffeine and nicotine, as well as various recreational and other illicit drugs will also reduce saliva flow. This is an increasingly debilitating problem in the community.
Surgery to and irradiation to salivary glands for head and neck cancer will greatly affect saliva production.
Various systemic syndromes cause extreme Xerostomia
Dry mouth problems are dependent on severity and may result in milder cases of sensitive teeth, increased decay activity and Halitosis (bad breath). It also results in increased wear of the teeth and flattening of back teeth and shortening of front teeth.
Various systemic syndromes like Sjogren’s Syndrome and Sicca Syndrome cause extreme Xerostomia. More severe cases cause extreme difficulty in chewing and swallowing (dysphagia). It also causes the teeth to break down severely and often require removal.
Fortunately, various treatments are available to ease the symptoms of all levels of xerostomia from the simple use of sugar-free chewing gums, to various oral salivary substitutes and lubricants. Usually, special toothpastes and oral home hygiene measures are advised.
One particular Australian developed product range known as GCs Tooth Mousse and Tooth Mousse Plus play a very useful role at home for dry mouth sufferers.