- Brush your teeth and floss regularly.
- Stay hydrated.
- Keep your doctor and dental appointments.
- Avoid sugar.
- Suck on sugar free hard candy or chew gum to stimulate saliva production.
- Use oral probiotics, S. salivarius and B. coagulans, that can protect the mouth, gums, teeth, and throat from the bad bacteria. (Katz, Huffington Post)
- Avoid smoke.
- Consume alcohol judiciously.
- Sip on water frequently.
- Rinse your mouth frequently.
- Include foods with high water content in your diet, such as fruits and soups.
- Avoid foods that tend to absorb saliva, such as crackers.
- Report any mouth pain, lesions, or a white coated tongue (suggesting yeast, or dehydration), to your doctor right away.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
What is it?
Xerostomia, impressive word, right? Not!
Xerostomia (pronounced ‘zero-stow-mia’) is commonly known as chronic dry mouth. When we don’t have enough saliva it affects the health of our mouth, and can cause gum disease, mouth sores, bad breath, cavities and tooth loss. It also affects our ability to enjoy food, can affect our speech and cause difficulty swallowing. You know you have it when your lips are parched and you can’t peel your tongue off the roof of your mouth.
Dry mouth, xerostomia, can be caused by the nature of an illness or the side effect of medication/s. People with Sjögren’s, a condition that causes dry mucous membranes (the moisture layer of tissue), and SICCA, a syndrome with the same symptoms without the antibodies of Sjögren’s, is significant in causing dry mouth. It is important to note that Sjögren’s/ SICCA has a relationship with a subset of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome patients, and certain other autoimmune diseases. Dry mouth is also often associated with chronic use of certain classes of medications, such as, antihistamines, blood pressure medications, and antidepressants.
Saliva provides lubrication for the mouth protecting it from forming bacteria and other unwanted microorganisms. It helps with moving food debris out of the area. When we don’t have enough moisture to perform these functions, then we have to help it along.
What to do
If you are plagued with dry mouth, be sure to let you doctor and dentist know. Your doctor may be able to change your medications, or the time of day you take them. Your dentist can prescribe mouth washes that help prevent dry mouth, tooth decay and gum disease.
In healing and hope, Celeste
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All blogs, posts and answers are not meant to replace medical advice.
Want to know more about Celeste’s books? (click on the title)
BrokenBody Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See Saw of Chronic Pain. (co-author, Jeff Miller, PhD)
IntegrativeTherapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Myofascial Pain: TheMind-Body Connection (co-author, Jeff Miller, PhD)
Contributing author to Fibromyalgia Insider Secrets: 10 Top Experts, Kindle Ed.