Common Oral Health Issues: Dry Mouth

30 March 2016
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


Dry mouth is also called xerostomia and is a common medical disorder leaving you with a parched throat or a dry and sticky feeling in your mouth. You might have a constant sore throat, dry nasal passages, or have problems chewing, speaking, or swallowing. Along with all of these problems, you may stay thirsty all of the time and be offensive with bad breath.

 The causes can be the result of lifestyle choices including smoking or side effects of specific medications or medical treatments. Other problems can include difficulty wearing dentures. You are also a prime candidate for tooth decay, gum disease, and thrush which is also a mouth infection. Cracked lips and mouth sores may be another issue when the mouth stays so dry.


Anxiety, stress, and depression, as well as diabetes, and Parkinson's disease can cause problems. Rheumatoid arthritis, systematic lupus erythematosus, or Sjogren's (SHOW-grins) Syndrome are some of the autoimmune disorders that can cause a dry mouth. Cancer therapy, including radiation and chemotherapy, adds to the dryness.

Elderly Patients

Elderly patients may have side effects from specific medications such as prescribed anxiety medications, diuretics, antihistamines, blood pressure, pain pills, and muscle relaxers. As mentioned, medications for Parkinson's, an overactive bladder, anxiety pills, and many others can also have an effect on a dry mouth.

Dehydration can be a result in older adults, and they must be observed carefully. Problems associated with dry mouth are especially difficult with the elderly because of problems with chewing or swallowing.


Moisture may be helped if the doctor prescribes a special oral rinse, such as Salagen to help produce saliva, as well as using fluoride toothpaste. You can also try products over-the-counter that aid in saliva production. Try chewing sugar-free gum or candy and drink plenty of water. A room vaporizer may help you breathe.

Without the presence of saliva, tooth decay can be a huge problem. Maintaining good oral hygiene can prevent plaque by brushing and flossing daily. It is also important to avoid foods such as crackers or raisins that may stick to your teeth.

The best procedure is consulting with medical and dental professionals if you have any of these symptoms. Be sure to take a detailed list of the medications you are taking as well as what types of drinks and food you consume on a regular basis. These may aid in the treatment plan offered. For more information, contact a practice like Graylyn Dental.