If you are one of the millions of American adults taking prescription medications, you should be aware of the sometimes serious oral complications of dry mouth, a common side of effect of such drugs.
Dry mouth occurs when the salivary glands stop producing saliva and the mouth becomes extremely dry. Sores and cracks can appear. You might have a raw, red tongue. You could become very thirsty and dehydrated.
But beyond the general discomfort, a dry mouth can eventually lead to more serious problems, such as tooth decay or gingivitis and gum disease. That’s because saliva helps break down food for digestion and, more importantly, helps to neutralize sugars and starches that can lead to plaque build-up and decay.
Common drugs that cause dry mouth include those used to treat anxiety, depression, pain, allergies and colds. Dry mouth can also be a side effect of muscle relaxants, sedatives and chemotherapy.
If you are on medication that dries your mouth, the solution is very straightforward. You should definitely talk first to the doctor or dentist who prescribed the medication. Sometimes, the dosage can be reduced, eliminating negative side effects, or there may be a safe alternative to the drug that is just as effective, but doesn’t have unwanted side effects.
Other remedies to mitigate the long term effects of dry mouth could include chewing on sugarless gum or sugarless candy to increase the flow of saliva, or drinking more fluids to keep the mouth moist. There are even saliva substitutes available over the counter or though your doctor or dentist.
Posted of the behalf of Justin Scott
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