Dry mouth or Xerostomia is caused when the salivary glands are not producing
enough saliva in the mouth to keep it wet.
Symptoms of dry mouth usually include: a dry feeling
in the mouth and throat most or all of the time, a dry and rough tongue, problematic tasting, chewing,
swallowing and possible trouble speaking, a burning sensation in the mouth/throat and cracked, dry lips.
Dry mouth can lead to mouth sores and infections in the mouth and gums.
In addition to keeping our mouth wet saliva is vital to our oral and digestive health since it helps
to digest food & provides a medium to break down food when chewing and swallowing.
Saliva also continually washes away oral bacteria and fungi to protect teeth and gums from
disease and decay.
There are several causes of dry mouth. Diseases such as diabetes,
Parkinson's disease, as well as auto-immune diseases like HIV/AIDS and Sjogren's Syndrome
are all capable of causing xerostomia.
Cancer treatments: If the salivary glands are exposed to radiation
they can be damaged. Chemotherapy drugs can make saliva thicker and slow production of saliva.
Drugs/medication: More than 400 medications can reduce saliva production. Medication for depression and
high blood pressure can cause dry mouth.
Lastly, an injury to the head or neck can damage the nerves
that signal the salivary glands to produce saliva.
If you have dry mouth there are ways to combat the condition.
If possible avoid taking medication
to alleviate dry mouth. All medications have side effects and the body works best when it
is not influenced by medication. It is understandable that sometimes, for some people medicine is
necessary however, for your own health, assess the need carefully.
If dry mouth is caused by medication see if your doctor can change the medication or reduce the dosage.
Sip water often, water is very good for us anyway. Keep a water bottle handy at all times.
At meals use water as a saliva substitute to help in chewing, swallowing and digestion.
Choose beverages wisely avoiding drinks with caffeine, sugar and artificial sweeteners
such as coffee, tea and soda.
Drink fruit juices, vegetable juices, water,
some dairy is alright.
After meals and in between meals chew xylitol gum or suck on xylitol mints.
Gum and mints
sweetened with xylitol are superior for people with dry mouth since xylitol is clinically proven
to fight tooth decay and strengthen tooth enamel.
This is added relief to the threat of tooth
and gum diseases possible with dry mouth.
Alcohol and tobacco cause dryness of the mouth so avoid these,
they are health hazards anyway.
If you live in a dry climate, you may want to use a humidifier in your
house especially at night. If needed check into the possibility of using artificial saliva.
Guidance for good oral health:
If you have dry mouth you need to take extra care to
ensure healthy teeth and gums. Be sure to: Brush teeth gently using a xylitol-flouride toothpaste
such as Squigle twice a day.
Floss your teeth efficiently every day, this is very important and
helps greatly to avoid bad breath.
After brushing and at bed time use a xylitol mouthwash such as
NOW XyliWhite, swishing in your mouth for at least 30 seconds.
Avoid sugar, candy or anything sticky. If and when you eat these, brush immediately following.
See your dentist twice a year (or more if needed) for check-ups, cleaning, etc.
Xylitol Gum and Mints:
Most sugars are the enemies of good
oral health, but there is one type that actually helps inhibit the bacteria that cause decay.
Xylitol, a sweetener derived from plants, has been shown to have an anti-bacterial
effect, especially on S. mutans.
Studies have shown that using xylitol gum
or mints immediately after eating can reduce dry mouth/cavities significantly and prevent the
formation of new sites of decay.
Xylitol gums and candies are proven to help salivation
and have been endorsed by six national dental associations.
At www.xylipro.com, we offer 100 percent xylitol-sweetened gum and mints in a variety of
flavors. We also carry granular xylitol, which when used to replace sugar further
lowers the incidence of tooth decay.
Xylitol for Oral Health
Prevention of Ear Infections
Xylitol Gum and Mints
Canker Sores and Sodium Laurel Sulfate