Dry mouth (Xerostomia)
As well as keeping the mouth moist and comfortable, saliva plays a vital everyday role in protecting our general health and well-being. It provides a protective barrier against the bacteria that can enter your body via your mouth. It helps you speak, chew, swallow, taste and digest food.
Dry mouth, and the consequent decrease in salivary protection, can also lead to a number of significant oral problems (bad breath, dental plaque, caries, inflammation of the gums, ulcers, receding gums or even tooth loss). These distressing and painful symptoms can severely affect your quality-of-life.
There are a number of reasons why someone may develop a dry mouth, the most common of which are radiation therapy for serious health problems of the mouth and neck, Sjögren's Syndrome and more than 1,800 commonly prescribed medications (anti-depressants, antihistamines, anti-hypertensives, anti-inflammatory, anti-Parkinson's, etc.) lead to a dry mouth. Stress and the ageing process can also be contributory factors.
Your first priority is to reduce the uncomfortable symptoms of a lack of saliva by providing your mouth with regular, effective moisturisation. It is equally essential to help protect your teeth and gums by replacing the antibacterial systems naturally present in saliva, which have become inadequate or even non-existent.