August 08, 2014

ADA: Managing Dry Mouth

Xerostomia (dry mouth) is caused by salivary gland reduced function and results in less salivary flow.  It can be caused by chronic disease, medication use, and medical treatment, such as head and neck radiation or chemotherapy treatment.  Chronic dry mouth increases the risk of tooth sensitivity and decay, gum disease, oral fungal infections and detracts from a patient's quality of life.

The ADA recommends a systematic approach to the evaluation, diagnosis, and management of the condition.  This includes patient education, lifestyle changes, palliative measures, and pharmacological treatment with salivary stimulants, topical fluoride tooth treatments and the use of sugar-free chewing gum to relieve symptoms and improve the patient's quality of life.

Source:  JADA, 8/1/2014. vol. 145, no. 8, 867-873

Robert G. Tupac, DDS, FACP, Inc.,
Diplomate, American Board of Prosthodontics
(661) 325-1275 |
5060 California Ave., #170, Bakersfield, CA 93309

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