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Dry Mouth (Xerostomia). Your hygienist can help.

Saliva is one of your body's natural defenses against plaque. It cleanses your mouth of cavity-causing bacteria and harmful food leftovers. Dry mouth (also called Xerostomia) is a fairly common condition that is caused by diminished saliva production. People with medical conditions, such as eating disorder or diabetes, are often plagued by dry mouth.

Eating spicy food, smoking tobacco and alcohol use, some medications or some treatments including cancer therapy, can diminish the body's production of saliva, leading to dry mouth. Other causes are related to aging and compromised immune system.

Some of the less alarming results of dry mouth is bad breath.

But dry mouth can lead to more serious problems, like burning tongue syndrome, a painful condition caused by lack of moisture on the tongue. If you don't have a medical condition that causes it, dry mouth can be minimized by sipping water regularly, chewing sugarless gum and avoiding smoking, alcohol and mouthwashes containing alcohol.

Of course, there is no substitute for regular check-ups and good oral hygiene. There is number of OTC products on the market which will help you to alleviate this uncomfortable syndrome.

Ask your dental hygienist which line of preventative products is the best for you to help you with this problem.


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