If you often feel as if you don’t have any 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 are now associated with dry mouth as well. When ignored, xerostomia 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 water can aggravate your symptoms. A thorough evaluation of your medical condition will be made. Medications are commonly prescribed to stimulate salivary flow and things like sugar-free candies or gum can help. Depending on your condition, solutions such as fluoride trays and prescription toothpaste may also help.