In this edition of Healthy Living, Marcie Fraser reports on dry mouth and how it affects both men and women.
Dry mouth affects about 10% of adults; unfortunately it affects more women than men.
"We have seen patients who had pretty pristine mouths and not a lot of dental disease come in the office with terrible break down and sudden break down," said Dentist Dr. Christian Mathiesen.
If you produce less saliva, over time you will see more cavities. The Dentist says, "More decay due to the fact that saliva buffers the acids in the mouth that cause decay, the decay process and also they help to wash away some of the plaque and some of the debris."
Obvious symptoms besides dry mouth is a pebbled look or a white coating on the tongue, mouth sores, cracking at the corners of the mouth and lips, and dry cough, another symptoms having difficulty eating.
"More difficulty chewing and swallowing because if there isn't saliva to lubricate their mouth and lubricate the food; it does become more difficult to masticate the food."
More often, dry mouth affects older people mainly caused by the side effects of the medication they're taking, for example blood pressure medicine or antidepressants. You may be more at risk if you are anxious or nervous over a period of time, or if you have an autoimmune disease, for example Lupus.
Other causes are, "Any kind of head and neck irradiation for cancer will cause or have an effect on saliva glands in the mouth," according to the Dentist.
To alleviate symptoms people grab candies or gum, the obvious choices are sugar free products.
"Xylitol is a sugar free product that seems to help to reverse decay process. Gum or Xylitol mints candy can be very helpful," Mathiesen went on to say.
Also helpful in reducing dry mouth are fluoride rinses like those shown in the video clip. If you are experience dry mouth consult your dentist.