Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)

Dry mouth is listed as a possible side effect on many medications. Saliva is the natural cleanser of the mouth. It buffers acid produced by the body as well as acid produced by bacteria that cause decay and periodontal disease. Patients with dry mouth are at higher risk for tooth decay and periodontal disease due to decreased saliva. Dry mouth can be exacerbated by ill-fitting dental appliances such as full or partial dentures. Be assured, we offer VERY NICE DENTURES and aim to custom fit your appliances to make you as comfortable as possible.
To combat tooth decay and gum disease when you have a dry mouth, you need to be especially careful to follow good oral hygiene habits. Like all our patients we strongly encourage you to:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day – more preferably, after every meal and before bedtime.
  • Floss your teeth every day.
  • Use toothpaste that contains fluoride.
  • Visit Dr. Rich at least twice a year for your regular cleaning and exam. At your visit, Dr. Rich may recommend daily use of a fluoride rinse or fluoride gel to keep your teeth healthy.

Certain products are available that can help alleviate dry mouth such as artificial saliva replacement drops, oral rinses such as Biotene mouth rinse and Oral Balance moisturizing oral rinse. Sugarless lemon drops have also been found to be an excellent saliva stimulant that can help increase saliva flow. Beware that most cough drops and mints contain sugar and will cause severe decay if used daily. Drinking water several times a day also improves dry mouth.