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Dry Mouth Can Damage Seniors’ Teeth

(ARA) - Compared to previous generations, more of today’s seniors have retained their own teeth, avoiding the discomfort of dentures. However, these same seniors are on a variety of prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications that can cause dry mouth (xerostomia), or experience dry mouth as a side effect of head and neck radiation therapy. According to Proctor & Gamble’s Global Dental Resource, (www.dentalcare.com), about 40 percent of the population over 55 suffers from dry mouth.

More than a discomfort, dry mouth is a serious condition that affects dental health and quality of life. Dry mouth can make tasting, chewing, and swallowing food difficult, and can impede speech. Although each individual may experience xerostomia differently, symptoms can include a dry mouth, dry lips, sense of burning in the mouth, tough tongue and mouth sores or infection. Dry mouth occurs when the mouth does not have enough saliva to help digest food, and prevent infection and tooth decay by controlling bacteria and fungi.

Saliva is more important to health than most people realize. Reduced saliva flow is a hidden cause of gum disease and tooth loss because saliva protects teeth by rinsing away bacteria and providing minerals. Without saliva, there is an increased risk of cavities, gingivitis, periodontal disease, oral infections and slow-to-heal wounds.

Saliva substitutes can provide relief for dry mouth. However, not all saliva substitutes are the same. Some contain ingredients that can actually aggravate dry mouth, cause allergic reactions or irritate the stomach. These ingredients include paraben preservatives, artificial flavorings and colorings, alcohol and glycerin.

Salivart Oral Moisturizer, an over-the-counter spray that has many of the same properties as saliva, contains none of these irritants and has no flavor or side effects. One spray coats and moisturizes the oral cavity and it can be used as often as needed.

Approved by the American Dental Association (ADA), Salivart has been the number one recommended product for relief of dry mouth by the “Pharmacy Times” OTC survey eight years in a row.

If you have dry mouth, see your dentist or physician or ask your pharmacist about Salivart Oral Moisturizer, which requires no prescription.

Courtesy of ARA Content

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