This condition is sometimes called xerostomia, but it is most easily recognised with the simple term ‘dry mouth. Unsurprisingly, it is caused by a lack of saliva in the mouth. This can occur for a number of different reasons, but it is a well-known side effect of taking prescription medications. If you are on any kind of drugs, ask your doctor whether this could be an issue. The risky thing about dry mouth is that it robs the gums and teeth of essential moisture, lubrication, and cleansing. Saliva actually has mild antibacterial properties and it is used to wash away residual plaque from teeth. So, without it, bacteria is allowed to remain on the enamel and starts to eat away at it. The most at risk groups are patients on prescription medications and older people (primarily over the age of fifty). As the mouth ages, saliva production naturally slows and the friction against teeth increases. Over time, if left untreated, this lack of saliva will contribute to the development of decay and cavities. Unfortunately, there is no direct cure for dry mouth. If medication is the cause, the only guaranteed solution is to stop taking it and this will usually cause a lot more harm. As far as your physical health goes, medications trump your saliva glands in this case. Do not stop taking prescribed meds unless instructed to by your doctor. Sometimes, drinking more water can help with discomfort and parched sensations.
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