Xerostomia- A.K.A. Dry Mouth

Pronounced (zeer-oh-stomia). Better known as dry mouth. I see this as being a huge complaint by patients generating serious oral complications in the dental office. Saliva is the natural healthy lubricant of the mouth. When saliva is present, the teeth and gums are in a “slippery  state”. Talking and chewing is a seamless action. Teeth will not stick to your cheeks as easily and your tongue feels hydrated and flexible. Having a good amount of saliva prevents harmful carious causing bacteria from physically attaching to your tooth surface, thereby minimizing your rate of cavity development. In addition, when bacteria can not “stick” to teeth, there is a subsequent lower concentration of bacteria in the mouth doing their harmful deed.

Xerostomia affects many people. The senior population is mostly affected. The causes are many. Medication side effects is on the top of my list; especially blood pressure medications. The systemic condition of diabetes is also responsible. Dry mouth can be a result of radiation and chemotherapy treatments. There is also an auto-immune condition that is responsible for dry mouth, Sjogren Syndrome

Typically, in the dental examination I first hear the complaint of dry mouth and or itchy tongue from the patient. The second most common complaint is that of bad breath, especially in the morning. The bad breath is in response to a higher concentration of sulfur present from the metabolic pathway of the higher concentration of bacterial biomass in the mouth. I generally see dry, fiery red cheek tissues, a fissure tongue and many posterior teeth are brown and white lesions consistently at the gum line region. Dry mouth patients get nasty gum line white and brown striped demineralized stripes in their teeth requiring significant time  and expense to be restored. For you denture wearers, life can be miserable.

My Best advice for you:

1-Decrease your sugary food intake to minimize bacterial concentrations.

2-Brush more frequently.

3-Consult with your physician. Maybe  a change in dosage of your meds could be considered.

4-Use an OTC  saliva substitute.  I like Biotene. It comes in a liquid and spray. Rinse at night prior to bed and as many times as you wish during the day. This substitute makes the teeth more slippery and thus hydrates the oral tissues

5-Rinse every morning with ACT Fluoride rinse. This will strengthen your enamel making your teeth more resistant to decay.

Unfortunately, drinking more water does not improve the condition. It’s not your imagination. It doesn’t make that much of a difference.


Dr. Emilio & Associates,  Always Accepts  New Patients. He especially exceeds at treating same day emergencies patients suffering from tooth ache pains.

His goal is to keep his patients’ Teeth and Gums Healthy For Life.

Feel Free to appoint a Consultation with the Doctor. Open Six Days A Week

OPEN on Weekdays.  7:30am -8:00pm  (M<T<W<T)

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111 East Avenue, Norwalk, Connecticut 06851.

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Author: robertemiliodds

My Passion is People and the Teeth Connected To Them! General dentist

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