Q: Over the past couple of months, I’ve noticed my mouth is dry. Why is this?
A: Cavities are often caused by dry mouth as a side-effect of medication. In fact, more than 500 medications—including those for treating allergies, asthma, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, pain, anxiety, depression, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s—can cause dry mouth that leads to cavities. While it is important to talk with your dentist about the symptoms you are experiencing, below are steps you can take to minimize dry mouth.
- Moisturize your mouth by drinking lots of water and using mouthwash and over-the-counter moisturizing spray.
- Avoid dehydrating beverages—such as coffee, alcohol, carbonated soft drinks, and acidic fruit juices.
- Chew sugar-free gum or lozenges to stimulate saliva production.
- Set up a humidifier in your home to keep moisture in the air.
- Consult with your physician about changing your medication or dosage.
- Ask your dentist about applying a fluoride gel or varnish to protect your teeth.
By: Nicole Kooiker, DDS, Dentist -Cherry Health