What is Xerostomia?
(Dry Mouth)? A Guide
for Patients

If you’re a dentist, oral health provider, or clinician, you can use this guide to explain xerostomia to your patients.

Explaining Xerostomia to Patients:
What is Xerostomia?

Saliva plays an important role in your mouth. It helps keep your teeth and gums healthy and clean. Just as important, saliva prevents infection by making sure bacteria and fungi don’t take over your mouth.

Xerostomia (also known as dry mouth) is when the amount of saliva in your mouth is 1/3 or less than a healthy level.

Having a healthy, normal amount of saliva can prevent serious oral health problems like:

  • Cavities
  • Gingivitis
  • Tooth loss
  • Periodontal disease
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, & speaking

The innovative BokaFlo device can help your dentist quickly and accurately measure how much healthy and protective saliva you have in your mouth. This information allows your dentist determine if you have dry mouth, and get you the best treatment.

Having dry mouth isn’t a normal part of getting older. That’s why it’s important to get tested for dry mouth. Getting an official diagnosis can help you prevent serious oral health problems like gingivitis, cavities, periodontal disease, and tooth loss.

What Causes Dry Mouth?

Many things can cause dry mouth. These can include:

  • Medications (like anti-depressants, antihistamines, & statins)
  • Other diseases like diabetes, Hepatitis C, cystic fibrosis, and Sjogren’s Syndrome
  • Medical treatments like radiation or chemotherapy

If medications are causing your dry mouth, your dentist can work with your primary care doctor to find other medications that don’t dry out your mouth as much.

Why is Dry Mouth a concern?

If you have dry mouth, you may have these problems:

  • Bad breath
  • Chapped, dry, or cracked lips
  • Slimy or sticky saliva
  • Mouth sores
  • A rough or dry tongue
  • You have a hard time keeping dentures in place inside your mouth

Talk to your dentist about your symptoms and get tested with our device.

Dry Mouth & Other Health Problems

Interestingly, dry mouth isn’t always just a symptom for oral health problems. Dry mouth can also be a sign that you may have another disease that hasn’t been diagnosed yet.

Having dry mouth is closely linked with other diseases like:

  • Sjogren’s Syndrome
  • Lupus
  • Diabetes
  • Hepatitis C
  • HIV
  • Oral cancer

That’s why it’s important to have your dentist measure your saliva flow so you and your doctor can work together to rule out any other possible health problems.

Brush your teeth twice a day with a toothpaste that has fluoride

Interested in Learning more about BokaFlo

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