Xerostomia (Dry mouth) and Oral Health Complications
Xerostomia is a prevalent condition that affects about 17 to 29% of the world’s population. Although most people don’t realize dry mouth is a severe problem, maintaining good oral health can improve your quality of life. One of the leading causes of dry mouth is the use of medications. Whether over-the-counter (OTC) or prescribed, there are more than 400 medications that cause dry mouth. Therefore, it is vital to research the drugs you are taking to avoid any side effects.
Common oral complications related to dry mouth include:
- Periodontal diseases
- Dental caries or cavity
- Candidiasis, i.e., yeast or fungal infection in the mouth
- Halitosis (bad breath)
If you have a dry mouth, there are several prescriptions and OTC drugs you can use to treat the condition. The main categories of these drugs mainly focus on moisture replacement, saliva stimulation, and improving the overall dental care. Dry mouth is an oral health problem, but you need the help of a physician. If you involve your physician, he/she can talk to your dental health professionals to determine whether a change in your medication can alleviate dry mouth symptoms.
Your physician and dentist can help you manage xerostomia, especially if the condition is due to the drugs you are taking. Finally, researching online and asking questions can help you understand xerostomia better.