Combating Dry Mouth As We Age

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Something people don’t talk much about, but many suffer from, especially as we get older, is dry mouth. As we age, the quality and quantity of the saliva in our mouths begins to diminish, and the resulting dry mouth leads to a much higher risk of cavities. “Saliva protects us from the bacteria which cause cavities and gum disease,” says Dr. Bruce Fine of Fine Dental Care in Wayne. “This is why someone might go without cavities or gum disease for the first half of their life, and then all of a sudden develop cavities or bleeding gums.”

two elderly

Preventing Dry Mouth As You Get Older
So what can we do to help combat dry mouth as our saliva diminishes due to age? General symptoms of dry mouth include dry, cracked lips or tongue, the overall feeling of dryness in the mouth, or foamy saliva. First off in combatting dry mouth, brushing and flossing become even more critical. Use fluoride, both at home and in office treatments. Use sugarless chewing gum to help stimulate sal-ivation. Lastly, it’s a good idea to replace any mouthwash containing alcohol (which is extremely drying to the mouth) with one of the many recommended al-cohol-free washes you can find on the shelf at your drug store or supermarket.

Antibiotics Can Help or Hinder
There are certain prescription drugs that also lead to xerostomia, otherwise known as dry mouth or hyposalivation. So let your dental professional know ex-actly what prescription drugs you’re taking, and he will be able to advise you fur-ther on preventive strategies for dry mouth specific to your needs. “And speaking of medications,” says Dr. Fine, “There are a number of effective prescription medications on the market now that do promote salivation.”

Call Today To Learn More
If you’d like to know more about dry mouth or how to keep your teeth and gums healthy as you age, you can call to schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Fine at his Wayne office “Fine Dental Care” at 973-633-5440. Or for more in-formation, visit www.finedentalcare.com.