Are you over 60 and finding that you’re suddenly getting cavities when you haven’t had them in years? As we get older, many people start experiencing cavity prone years again. One common cause of cavities in older adults is dry mouth. Dry mouth is not a normal part of aging. It’s a side-effect of many medications, including those prescribed for allergies or asthma, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, pain, anxiety or depression, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
According to the American Dental Association here are some recommendations for relief from dry mouth:
- Use over-the-counter oral moisturizers, such as a spray or mouthwash.
- Consult with your physician on whether to change the medication or dosage.
- Drink more water. Carry a water bottle with you, and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Your mouth needs constant lubrication.
- Use sugar-free gum or lozenges to stimulate saliva production.
- Get a humidifier to help keep moisture in the air.
- Avoid foods and beverages that irritate dry mouths, like coffee, alcohol, carbonated soft drinks, and acidic fruit juices.
- Your dentist may apply a fluoride gel or varnish to protect your teeth from cavities.
It’s important to tell Dr. Brogdon about any medications that you’re taking. We can make recommendations to help relieve your dry mouth symptoms and in turn prevent cavities.