Saliva keeps your teeth bathed in a mineral-rich solution that helps wash away foods, sugars and acids, to keep your teeth more resistant to decay. While saliva makes it easier to talk, swallow, taste and digest food, a lack
of saliva could lead to a condition known as dry mouth, identified in some cases by sores or split skin at the corners of the mouth, bad breath, difficulty speaking and swallowing, a burning or tingling sensation on the tongue, an altered sense of taste, and increased plaque, tooth decay and gum disease. In fact, dry mouth can lead to extensive tooth decay, mouth sores and oral infections, particularly among the elderly.
Which medications are most likely to cause oral dryness? According to the American Academy ofPeriodontology, over 500 medications can contribute to oral dryness, including antihistamines (for allergies or asthma), antihypertensive medications (for blood pressure), decongestants, pain medications, diuretics and antidepressants.
Dry-mouth sufferers need to be aware that it’s especially vital for them to come in for a dental examination and cleaning at least every six months. Please keep us aware of the medications you are on and how to work around their side effects.