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Severe dry Mouth and Menopause??

I have been experiencing a severe dry mouth for a few years now and it is so bad now i dont know what else to do. I have tried everything HRT, other mouth things medication but cant seem to get reliefe.. Has anyone else experienced this? Can you give me some advice?
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replied January 8th, 2013
Hi,
Welcome to ehealthforum,
Dry mouth or Xerostomia (medical term used for dry mouth due to lack of saliva) occurs when there is not enough saliva to keep the mouth wet, or when there is reduced or absent saliva flow. This condition is also known as pasties, cottonmouth, drooth, doughmouth or des (from desert). Most often it is usually a subjective complaint - the patient complains about it and subsequently sees the doctor. Xerostomia is usually caused by the inadequate function of the salivary glands. It can lead to speech and eating difficulties, halitosis (bad breath), an increase in the number of dental cavities (saliva helps prevent tooth decay), and infections in the mouth, such as thrush. It is a common problem and is frequently seen as a side effect of medication, which may improve with a new prescription or an adjustment of dosage. Xerostomia may also be a symptom of a underlying serious systemic disease, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, sarcoidosis, amyloidosis, Sjogren's syndrome and hypothyroidism. Medications or prescription and OTC (over-the-counter, no prescription required) medications can cause dry mouth, including antihistamines, hypertensive medications (for high blood pressure), anti-diarrheals, muscle relaxants, urinary continence drugs, some Parkinson's disease medications, as well as a number of antidepressants, cancer treatment especially radiotherapy (radiation therapy) to the head and neck can damage the salivary glands, resulting in less saliva being produced. Chemotherapy used can alter the nature of the saliva, as well as how much of it the body produces. Any injury or surgery - which results in nerve damage to the head and neck area, can result in dry mouth. Tobacco - either chewing or smoking tobacco can aggravate dry mouth symptoms. Dehydration - caused by lack of sufficient fluids can worsen dry mouth. Some health conditions, illnesses and habits that can also result in dry mouth include: Anxiety disorders, Depression, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson's disease, Poorly controlled diabetes, Sjogren's syndromes, Sleeping with the mouth open, Snoring, Stroke and Alzheimer's disease - more likely to cause a perception of dry mouth. Consider visiting your doctor or dentist and go ahead with getting blood tests and imaging scans of the salivary glands along with other special tests like Sialometry (it measures the flow rate of saliva), Saliography (a radiographic examination of the salivary glands and ducts after the introduction of a radiopaque material into the ducts to rule out obstruction due to salivary gland stones and masses) and a Biopsy (to rule out malignancy). The treatment for xerostomia depends on several factors, such as whether there is underlying condition or disease, or is there is certain medications that may be causing dry mouth. Once the cause is found steps need to be taken to minimize its effect. Sometimes medications prescribed to stimulate saliva production can prove to be effective. Symptomatic treatment for dry mouth typically includes four components: Increasing the flow of saliva, Replacing lost secretions, Controlling dental caries, Some specific measures, such as treating infections. Oral/dental hygiene with plaque removal and treatment of gingival infections, inflammation and dental caries, brushing teeth and flossing regularly can help. Sipping fluids (non-carbonated, sugarless), chewing xylitol-containing gum, and using a carboxymethyl cellulose saliva substitute as a mouthwash may also help to control the symptom (mouthwashes which contain alcohol should be avoided). Once treatment is started, patient is generally advised to conduct a daily mouth examination, looking out for unusually colored patches, tooth decay or ulcers and report anything unusual to their doctor or dentist. Individuals with xerostomia should also avoid: Sugary foods or drinks, Acidic foods or drinks, Dry foods, Spicy foods, Astringents, Excessively hot or cold drinks, Alcohol consumption, Caffeine (consumption should be kept to a minimum), Chewing or smoking tobacco. Other temporary measures include eating foods as carrots or celery to help with residual salivary gland function. Breathing through the nose to avoid drying of mouth. Use of a humidifier to add moisture to a bedroom (this may be helpful to reduce dry mouth symptoms that develop during sleep).
Take care.



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