Effects of medication on your mouth and dry mouth

If you’re on long term medication, you may be susceptible to dry mouth and it’s important you retain enough saliva in your mouth to combat this. Dry mouth is a common side effect of many medications and can damage tooth enamel as well as causing bad breath and gum disease too. In this article we explore dry mouth and look at why it’s important to bear in the mind the impact of the medication you take. Particularly so if you are in your golden years as this is often the time when many people start taking more medication than at earlier stages in their life.

Saliva is a vital element of your oral health. It will moisten and clean your mouth and help you digest food. It also prevents infection by controlling bacteria and fungi in your mouth. And when you don’t produce enough saliva, your mouth will get dry and uncomfortable. Unfortunately, prescription and non-prescription drugs can bring with them, dry mouth as a side effect. Drugs that are used to treat everything ranging from depression and allergies to Parkinson’s and urinary incontinence may contribute to this scenario. Dry mouth may also be a side effect of the condition itself so if you are suffering from conditions including Sjögren’s syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, or diabetes for example, it may be a possible concern for you.

So what does it feel like?

As the name suggests, you’ll experience a sticky, dry feeling in the mouth and you will be frequently thirsty. You might develop sores in your mouth or sores or split skin at the corners of the mouth and cracked lips too. Some patients that have attended here at Butterfield Dental Surgery have also reported dry feeling in the throat as well as a burning or tingling sensation in the mouth and especially on the tongue. Your tongue could also feel a little raw and you may well have problems speaking or trouble tasting, chewing, and swallowing. If that does not sound bad enough – you may also feel hoarse and be susceptible to a sore throat.

Dry mouth can be treated and by consulting both your dentist and your GP, we’ll work with you to sort out the problem for you. Our patients have also reported that it can make dentures a bit uncomfortable to wear. This is also something we can help you with and advise on the best approach. Oral health is more than just looking after your teeth. Think of us at Butterfield Dental surgery as the experts in every aspect of healthcare for your mouth. If you feel that dry mouth may be an issue for you or that medication is having a serious impact on your oral health, make an appointment with us today.

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