Dry mouth is more than just an irritating problem. It’s a potentially serious health condition that can severely affect your oral health and quality of life. While dry mouth is common among older adults, it’s not a normal part of aging and can and should be prevented and treated.
Here are a few common questions and answers about dry mouth:
One in three older adults has dry mouth, which is frequently a side effect of medications. Many prescription drugs – many of them used for common conditions such as high blood pressure, depression, allergies, and pain – are known to cause dry mouth. Moreover, the more drugs you take, the more likely you’ll be troubled by dry mouth. Over-the-counter medications, antihistamines, and decongestants, can also cause it, along with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and illnesses such as diabetes, Parkinson’s, and Sjogren’s Syndrome.
A lack of saliva can lead to:
Common symptoms of dry mouth include:
Dry mouth can cause significant tooth decay, especially in the roots of teeth, which can lead to infection and tooth loss.
It can affect your quality of life by making it difficult to eat, taste food, swallow, and talk.