Some medicines have xerostomia (dry mouth) as one of their side effects. A dry mouth condition increases your risk of developing dental problems, such as tooth decay and gum disease. Take the following measures to combat your medication-induced xerostomia:
Use the Least Affected Dosage
Some drugs don't have exact doses. For example, you may be advised to take a tablet two or three times a day depending on the severity of your symptoms. In such cases, some people automatically aim for the highest dose, believing that they will get well faster. If such a drug is drying your mouth, aim for the least effective dose and you may experience an improvement of your dry mouth condition.
Moisturize Your Mouth
Don't rely on your natural saliva to keep your mouth moist. You can moisturize your mouth by sucking on ice chips throughout the day or sipping water constantly. Make sure you avoid sweetened water, since that would increase your risk of dental decay.
Use Artificial Saliva
You may also use artificial saliva if water or ice doesn't help. Stick to artificial saliva products with American Dental Association (ADA) seals, since they have been tested and certified as effective and safe for use. Unfortunately, artificial saliva products only provide temporary relief. The good news is that you can take them as often as you need to.
Modify Your Drug Schedule
In some cases, modifying your drug schedule may help. For example, some people experience dry mouth at certain times of the day. In such a case, modifying your drug schedule to avoid taking it when your mouth is driest may reduce the symptoms.
Let Your Doctors Know All the Drugs You Use
Many drugs only dry the mouth slightly when used in isolation. However, the effect increases if you use multiple drugs with the same effect at the same time. The problem is usually experienced with those who have multiple health needs and are seeing different doctors. If your doctor or dentist doesn't know all the drugs you are using, they may not modify your medication to minimize xerostomia. Thus, it's important to tell all your doctors your medical issues and the drugs you are taking so they can give you alternative medication if necessary.
Consult your dentist if the above measures do not improve your dry mouth condition. It might be that you are dealing with an undiagnosed health issue that is drying up your mouth. The dentist will give you a professional diagnosis and treatment. Click here to learn more about family dentistry.