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Xerostomia (Dry Mouth)
What Causes Dry Mouth?
Our saliva is essential to clean our mouth and remove food particles from around teeth and gums. Those that suffer from dry mouth do not have the necessary amount of saliva for normal function. It is the side effect of hundreds of medications, including those that are prescribed for allergies, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, incontinence, pain, and other systemic diseases.
Mouth breathing contributes to dry mouth, and it can also be the side effect of some health issues. Dry mouth can cause the inside of your mouth or throat to be sore, may cause issues chewing and swallowing, and difficulty talking. Those that suffer from dry mouth have a higher rate of tooth decay, due to the lack of saliva needed to cleanse the mouth and neutralized acids that cause decay. Products that stimulate saliva flow are helpful in relieving the discomfort of a dry mouth. Examples of these would be sugar free candies and gum, and products used for moisture and saliva substitution.