WHAT IS DRY MOUTH?
Xerostomia, the medical term for dry mouth, is a condition where your salivary glands don’t make enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. According to WebMD and Mayo Clinic, symptoms of dry mouth include:
- Sticky, dry feeling in the mouth
- Frequent thirst
- Sores in the mouth, split skin at the corners of your mouth, and/or cracked lips
- Dry feeling in the throat
- Burning or tingling sensations on the tongue
- Dry, red, and raw tongue
- Problems speaking
- Trouble tasting, chewing, and swallowing
- Hoarse voice, dry nasal passages, and sore throat
- Bad breath
- Problems wearing dentures
- Changed sense of taste (when accompanied by other symptoms)
Dry mouth can harm your dental health because saliva is an integral part of keeping your teeth protected against bacteria that cause plaque buildup, cavities, and bad breath. They also make it hard to wear dentures. Dentures need saliva to correctly adhere to your gums with a tight seal, and dry mouth can cause the loosening of dentures and irritation.
Over 50% of Americans take at least one prescription drug per day. For people over 65, that number jumps up to almost 90%. That doesn’t include over the counter medications, which often list dry mouth as a side effect as well.
WHAT MEDICATIONS CAUSE DRY MOUTH?
Dry mouth is one of the most common side effects listed on both over the counter and prescription medications. There are over 500 medicines that list it as a main side effect, but here are some of the most common types of medications that might be causing your dry mouth problems:
- Benadryl, Claritin, Zyrtec are all top name brands that fall under this category.
- Including Zoloft, Flexeril and Elavil.
- Medications prescribed for a lot of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation to help prevent vomiting, nausea, and motion sickness.
- Blood Pressure Medications
- Daily hypertension medications such as Albuterol aerosol, Norvasc, and Prinivil
- Medications that help manage stress, excitement, anxiety, and irritability levels like Amytal, Valium, and Lunesta.
- Drugs that are given for psychiatric disorders, anxiety and depression such as Zoloft or Lexapro.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of medications, but these are some of the most common types of medications that might be causing your dry mouth symptoms. Most of these medications interfere with your body’s ability to produce saliva, which is the primary cause of dry mouth.
For a full list of medications that are proven to cause dry mouth, visit this link. If you’re experiencing symptoms of dry mouth, consult your dentist to ask for possible solutions. You can also ask your doctor about prescribing medications that don’t cause severe dry mouth to ensure that your smile remains happy and healthy!
NEED DRY MOUTH RELIEF, OR HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW IT MAY AFFECT YOUR DENTAL HEALTH?