If you often feel as if you do not have saliva to spare, you may have a condition called xerostomia (zeer-o-STO-me-uh) – the medical term for dry mouth. It is often associated with aging, but more than 400 current medications now are associated with dry mouth as well. When ignored, it can lead to severe tooth decay and gum disease. Fortunately, it can normally be managed successfully.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF DRY MOUTH SYNDROME?
If you have one or more of the following, you may have xerostomia:
- Thick saliva
- Irritation at the corner of the mouth
- Cracked lips
- Bad breath
- Difficulty speaking or swallowing
- Sore throat
- An altered sense of taste
- Increased plaque, tooth decay and gum disease
HOW CAN I BE TREATED FOR THIS CONDITION?
Often just sipping on water can aggrevate your symptoms. A thorough evaluation of your medical condition will be made. Medications are commonly prescribed to stimulate salivary flow and such things as sugar–free candies and gum may help. Depending on your condition, solutions such as fluoride trays and prescription toothpastes may also help.