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Diseases & Conditions

Prevent Viral & Bacterial Infections In The Mouth That Cause Dry Mouth

Chronic dry mouth, also known by the medical term xerostomia, is a result of insufficient production of saliva. This causes problems with eating and digestion, and may also result in difficulty speaking. In extreme cases, it can cause malnutrition, anxiety, and permanent disorders of the mouth and throat. Affected individuals often find that the condition significantly impacts their overall quality of life.

Importance of Saliva

Saliva is critical for human health, and insufficient production can cause serious side effects. Saliva lubricates the mouth, making eating and speaking more comfortable while preventing the development of ulcers or sores. It helps to protect against tooth decay, encourages tooth remineralization, and discourages the growth of bacterial, viral, or fungal infections in the mouth. Saliva facilitates proper food digestion, and a decrease in saliva production can negatively impact the sense of taste.

Common Symptoms

Those suffering from xerostomia are likely to experience extreme and ongoing dryness in the throat and mouth and may have difficulty with basic acts such as chewing, speaking, and swallowing. Saliva may become thick and stringy and the breath may take on a foul smell. It is likely that problems with the teeth will occur including an increase in the frequency of tooth decay, gum irritation and gum disease. Dry mouth may cause additional problems for denture wearers.

Common Causes

Approximately 10 percent of the population is affected by this condition and it tends to be more common in women than men. Elderly individuals are affected by dry mouth more often than younger people.

Radiation treatments for cancer may cause damage to the salivary glands, as can a trauma or surgery resulting in nerve damage in the head or neck. Other major health issues such as HIV/AIDS, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, or the autoimmune syndrome- Sjogren’s syndrome have also been associated with chronic dry mouth.

Dry mouth is a common side effect of many over-the-counter and prescription drugs including decongestants, antihistamines, pain medications, muscle relaxants, anti-depression medications, and chemotherapy drugs. Tobacco and methamphetamine use have also been liked with dry mouth symptoms.

Treatment Options

Affected individuals may wish to consult with a physician or pharmacist to discuss the medical treatment options available to counteract these unpleasant symptoms. At Fusion Rx, our pharmacists are readily available to explain the benefits of any of the following medications we offer.

Medications to Treat Dry Mouth

Over-the-Counter Medications:

  • Salagen
  • Evoxac

Compounded Medications:
We can make capsules and oral suspensions, solutions or rinses of the following:

  • Pilocarpine
  • Cevimeline
  • Saline
  • Glycerin
  • Artificial Saliva gel (Mucolox)
  • Electrolyte Saliva gel
  • Supersaturated Calcium Phosphate Oral Rinse
  • "It is rare to find health professionals who are so willing to educate the patient on what they need to know."

    Clair C. | West Hollywood, CA