Does your tongue ever feel rough or dry?

Maybe you have thick, stringy saliva...

Do you have difficulty chewing, swallowing or difficulty with your speech?

You may be suffering from Dry Mouth.

Dry Mouth, or Xerostomia, is a salivary condition which can be very uncomfortable and damaging to your teeth and mouth.

Saliva is vital to your dental health and hygiene. It has multiple functions:

- Saliva acts as a natural buffer against acidic food and drinks

- Saliva flushes away food and bacteria 

- Saliva forms a protective barrier and delivers minerals such as Calcium, Fluoride and Phosphate to remineralise teeth.

If you have a reduced saliva flow, you may be more prone to sensitivity, bad breath, decay, enamel wear and infections.

What causes dry mouth?

There are many conditions and risk factors that cause drymouth. 

It's a very common side effect of medications (especially if you take a combination of medications) and radiation therapy.

Many medical conditions such as Sjogrens Syndrome, Diabetes and Parkinson's Disease will result in Dry Mouth.

If you sleep with your mouth open, snore or suffer from chronic blocked nose, you also may be at risk.

The good news is dry mouth can be managed.

Make sure to keep hydrated with frequent sips of water throughout the day.

Try to avoid dehydration agents such as tea, coffee, alcohol and smoking.

Encourage increased saliva production with sugar free gums and lozenges.

And don't forget to use a fluoridated toothpaste at least twice a day.  

We may recommend a higher strength toothpaste to provide a stronger enamel barrier.

Written by: Anna Tsougranis BOH Melb.

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