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Dry Mouth (AKA Xerostomia)

Xerostomia is also known as Dry Mouth.  Some potential causes of dry mouth include:

* aging

* certain medications

* certain medical therapies

* certain conditions, like Sjögren's disease, hypothyroid disease, diabetes, etc

* and we can't really ignore the obvious cause, dehydration

Unfortunately, having a dry mouth can lead to oral health concerns because it leaves you more susceptible to getting cavities, gum disease and bad breath.  One of the functions of saliva is to  'wash away' bacteria and food particles that can cause these issues, so when it's lacking, you may experience changes in your dental health.

Depending on the situation and the cause of your dry mouth, there are steps you can take to reduce discomfort:

* If you suspect that medication or medical therapies are the cause of your dry mouth, let your family doctor know because they may be able to recommend a suitable alternative.

* You should also have regular check ups with your family doctor, to make sure you don't have an underlying condition causing the dry mouth.  Once your condition is monitored and treated, a happy 'side effect' could be relief from dry mouth symptoms.

* Bring it up with your dentist as well - they are, after all the experts in oral health :)

Regardless of whether or not your dry mouth is caused by medical issues, everyone should be ensuring they're getting adequate hydration, so, try these tips:

* Carrying around a water bottle and making sure you're taking sips throughout the day.  

* You want to avoid sugary drinks, alcohol and caffeine - as these tend to encourage problematic bacteria and/or dry out the mouth even more.

* You may also want to stay away from alcohol-based mouthwashes, which can aggravate the problem.

* With reduced saliva, having spicy food may irritate the lining of your mouth, so it may be wise to reduce its consumption or avoid it.

* Some reports suggest that smoking can worsen dry mouth, so if you smoke, it could be a good idea to wean yourself off.

* When the lips are dry, hydrating lip balms may help.

* Using a humidifier to moisten the air of your environment.

* You may also prefer to explore products designed especially for dry mouth sufferers - for example, there are toothpastes, mouthwashes, etc.

Book yourself in for a full examination and we'll help you to find a solution. (416) 226-6688.


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