Dry Mouth: What does it mean?Although it is a common myth that dry mouth is just par for the course as we age, this is not actually true. For the approximately 20 percent of older adults that experience excessive dry mouth, it can actually be a symptom of a medical condition or a side effect of certain medications, and it can lead to a host of dental problems. Causes of Dry Mouth In older adults, dry mouth is most commonly a side effect of certain medications, including: Antihistamines Blood pressure medications Pain pills Decongestants Medications for Overactive Bladder Antidepressants Diuretics Muscle relaxers Medications for Parkinson’s disease Medications for anxiety Although medication side effects are most often the cause of dry mouth, certain medical conditions can also create dry mouth symptoms. Some of the most common diseases that can contribute to dry mouth include: Autoimmune disorders such as Sjogren’s Syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and systematic lupus erythematosus Diabetes Parkinson’s Disease Stress Anxiety Depression Dry mouth can also be attributed to dehydration, which is why it is so important to keep an eye on any older adults you care for, as dehydration is a common issue for the elderly. Issues Associated with Dry Mouth We need sufficient saliva in our mouths to wash away food debris and reduce plaque, which is why severe tooth decay and gum disease can occur if dry mouth is left untreated. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, 30 percent of all tooth decay in older adults is caused by dry mouth. Other health issues can also arise if dry mouth is left untreated. Treating Dry Mouth There are fortunately many things you can do to treat dry mouth and improve dental health, no matter your age. Your dentist or physician can prescribe medications to help increase saliva production, and regular dental checkups will…
Cosmetic Dental Services in Chicago
Sloop Dental is your South Loop neighborhood dentist. We specialize in providing honest recommendations and exceptional service for patients of all ages from toddlers to seniors. Using cosmetic dentistry techniques we strive to make all patients smile proudly.
Our staff executes a “health first” approach to provide care which will improve your overall health by creating dental work that will last. Just a few of our services include teeth whitening, veneers, implants, and Invisalign.
If you ever have a dental emergency our staff lives nearby and is available at any time. Feel free to contact us by phone or email or stop by our office. We always welcome visits from our patients to answer your questions or simply say hello.
Dr. Ken Allen provides family oriented, high-quality dental care; helping patients of all ages achieve beautiful, healthy smiles.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment.