Xerostomia is a condition that causes a person to suffer from a dry mouth and a reduced amount of saliva. Not only can this be a frustrating problem, but it can also make eating and talking difficult. Xerostomia treatment usually focuses on what’s causing the problem as in the majority of cases it isn’t possible to treat the condition directly. Some common forms of xerostomia treatment include addressing issues with oral hygiene, drinking sugarless fluids and chewing a specific type of gum. Unless the problem is caused by dehydration then drinking water will often just make the problem worse.
There are a wide range of different potential causes of xerostomia. These include diseases such as diabetes, specific types of medication, over consumption of a substance such as alcohol and stress. For this reason xerostomia treatment requires that the patient first understands what is causing the problem in order to help solve it. It should also be noted that the majority of elderly people will suffer from a certain level of xerostomia.
One of the most common causes of xerostomia is a certain type of drug. For this reason xerostomia treatment may sometimes involve switching to a different type of medication in order to solve the problem. For example, drugs that can cause a dry mouth include morphine and antidepressants. If a person is dehydrated then this may also cause dry mouth.
Another potential treatment is to find out whether the person is suffering from an increased level of anxiety. Being anxious can cause a dry mouth and hence constant anxiety can start a long term problem. Although this may be a simple problem to diagnose, it can often be difficult to solve without lifestyle changes from the patient.
General xerostomia treatments include sucking on ice, eating sugar-free fruit sweets and taking small sips of sugarless drinks. Melon and pineapple are also thought to help with dry mouth. There are also artificial saliva treatments available which can help to alleviate the problem although it’s important to check that they are neutral and not acidic.
For the most severe cases, a different xerostomia treatment may be required. Pilocarpine tablets are sometimes used for certain types of dry mouth and often work effectively. Most people who take the drug will see an improvement after the first dose. As with any strong medication, however, the drug has a number of potential side effects and hence isn’t suitable for all situations.