Dry Mouth

Your dry mouth can be caused by various factors, including medications, radiotherapy and autoimmune disorders such as lupus and Sjögren syndrome. A lack of saliva and increased acidity in your mouth can cause cavities.

You can help prevent cavities by following these instructions:

✓ Use home fluoride products such as toothpastes or rinses that contain more than 1,000 ppm fluoride. Do not overuse these products because too much fluoride can cause fluorosis. Follow the instructions on the package and contact your health care professional if you have any abnormal discomfort after you use fluoride-containing products.

✓ Chew gum that contains xylitol and decrease the amount of sugar you eat. Xylitol, a natural sugar alcohol, can be used as a sweetener and is not fermented by acid-producing bacteria. Xylitol can decrease acid-producing bacteria in your mouth. Do not use more than 10 to 12 g of xylitol every day. If you have more than this amount, you may have osmotic diarrhea.

✓ Change your diet to one that is low in sugar and acidic drinks such as soda and wine. But do things in moderation so that you still meet your daily nutritional needs.

✓ Use products that make your mouth more comfortable and drink water to relieve the feeling of dryness. Try using some of the products from Biotène to relieve your dry mouth.

✓ Use medication to treat yeast infections that commonly occur when you have dry mouth.

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