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Xerostomia; also known as Dry Mouth Syndrome, is common and often can be improved with some simple treatment or supplements. You may be suffering from xerostomia if you are experiencing a dry mouth sensation during the day and/or night, your saliva has become sticky or stringy, and you have bad breath or a sour taste in your mouth, or your taste of food changes.
Xerostomia can affect your nutrition, and cause other symptoms such as a sore throat, difficulty swallowing or speaking, and a burning sensation.
Your dentist can perform a simple saliva test to determine if you have xerostomia. The treatment may be as simple as changing your oral hygiene program, as determined by your hygienist, therapist or dentist. You will be provided with a fluoride topical supplement to protect your teeth from decay, sensitivity, and wear and tear, as well as an at-home oral health plan. If your condition is more severe, you may be provided with other supplements and will be advised to have more frequent checks with your National Dental Care dentist.
Xerostomia occurs due to a lack of saliva causing a dry mouth feeling. This can be caused by otherwise intact salivary glands not producing enough saliva (usually caused by many types of medications) or by destruction of salivary gland tissues (such as during radiotherapy for cancer treatment or due to an autoimmune disorder, like Sjogren Syndrome).
The list of medications that can cause xerostomia is very long, but common medication such as blood pressure medication, antidepressant/anti-anxiety medications, asthma medication, can all contribute to this problem. Saliva is an important part of preventing bacteria and acids from affecting your teeth. Decay, teeth erosion, and periodontal disease can develop if xerostomia is left untreated.
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