Xerostomia, or dry mouth, refers to a condition in which the salivary glands don’t make enough saliva to keep the mouth wet. Occurring more commonly in the elderly, lack of saliva can cause significant problems, including bad breath, tooth decay, and other oral hygiene problems. Dry mouth is often due to the side effects of certain medications, aging issues, or the effects of radiation therapy for cancer. Symptoms of xerostomia include discomfort, sore throat, and swallowing problems. The treatment for dry mouth often involves several steps, the first of which is seeing a healthcare provider. He or she will review all medications to see if they are causing the condition. If so, another medication may be a suitable substitution.
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P.S. Good oral hygiene is essential for older adults with xerostomia.