Dry Mouth Duluth MN

Dental Implant & Reconstructive Center Provides Information About Dry Mouth

While there are many causes for dry mouth, some of the most common causes are from hundreds of prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Among the medications that cause dryness are those drugs used to treat depression, nerve pain (neuropathy) and anxiety, as well as some antihistamines, decongestants, muscle relaxants and pain medications. In some cases, dry mouth can also be caused by certain health conditions such as Sjogren’s syndrom or HIV/AIDS. Additional causes may be from chemotherapy, radiation therapy to the salivary glands, nerve damage from surgery, tobacco and methamphetamine use. Stroke and Alzheimers disease may give a patient the perception of dry mouth even though the salivary glands are functionally normal.

Without adequate saliva, there are a number of complications from dry mouth that could include:

  • Increased plaque, tooth decay and gum disease
  • Difficulty developing suction with your upper denture.
  • Mouth sores when wearing your lower denture.
  • Fungal infections in your mouth
  • Coated tongue.
  • Sores and cracking skin at the corners of your mouth.
  • Difficulty chewing and swollowing your food.

Treatment for dry mouth may include:

  • Changing the medications that cause dry mouth. If your physician believes medication to be the cause, he or she may adjust your dosage or switch you to another medication that doesn’t cause a dry mouth.
  • There are also a number of over-the-counter products that may help make your dry mouth more tolerable. Some of these are meant to moisturize your mouth. They may include prescription or over-the-counter mouth rinses, artificial saliva or moisturizers to lubricate your mouth.
  • To prevent cavities, Dr. Erickson or your general dentist may recommend daily fluoride treatments using specially fitted fluoride trays, fluroride mouth rinses, or special toothpastes fortified with higher concentrations of fluoride. In some cases it may be recommended that you use weekly use of a chlorhexidine rinse to control cavities.

If you have severe dry mouth, Dr. Erickson or your physician may prescribe medication that stimulates saliva. Your doctors may consider prescribing pilocarpine (Salagen) or cevimeline (Evoxac) to stimulate saliva production.