Dental News

Dry Mouth Syndrome Affects Dental Health

6/11/2001 

Is your mouth so dry you could drink gallons of water a day, and even that wouldn’t help? You may be one of the many who suffers from xerostomia, or dry mouth syndrome. Beyond discomfort, dry mouth is a serious condition that affects dental health and, most importantly, quality of life.

Unfortunately, dry mouth syndrome is on the rise and can affect people of all ages and health levels. Having dental work done can cause dry mouth, as can virtually hundreds of prescription and over the counter medications –from antidepressants to diuretics and even acne treatments.

Saliva is more important to health than most realize. Reduced saliva flow is a hidden cause of gum disease and tooth loss because saliva protects teeth by rinsing away bacteria and providing minerals. Without saliva, there is an increased risk of cavities, gingivitis, periodontal disease, oral infections and slow to heal wounds.

Other problems involve difficulty chewing, swallowing and speaking, impaired taste, cracked lips, fissured tongue and halitosis. Beyond affecting physical health, decreased saliva flow is a chronic discomfort that can take a toll on a person’s emotional well being.

Dry mouth is also one of the most common side effects experienced by patients who receive head and neck radiation therapy. Sjogren’s Syndrome, a disease with no known cure, causes the body s autoimmune system to attack salivary and lacrimal glands, decreasing saliva and tear production. Dental procedures, stress, nerve damage, alcohol consumption, smoking and dehydration are other causes.

Salivart(R) Synthetic Saliva, the oral moisturizer most commonly recommended by pharmacists, is an over the counter spray similar to the body’s own saliva composition that instantly provides relief.

Ralph Stilphen, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for The Gebauer Company, says, “One spray coats and moisturizes the oral cavity. It can be used as often as needed. Not all synthetic saliva is the same. Some contain ingredients that can actually aggravate the condition, cause allergic reactions, irritate the stomach or have a drying effect. These include paraben preservatives, artificial flavorings and colorings, alcohol and glycerin. Salivart contains none of these irritants and has no flavor.

For more information, contact The Gebauer Company at 800-321-9348. www.gebauerco.com

Salivart(R) is a registered trademark of The Gebauer Company.

SOURCE: The Gebauer Company

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