Dry mouth matters
Jackie Whiteley discusses the impact of dry mouth and how the dental team can help.
As dental professionals, we see how coping with oral health complications can severely impact our patients physically, mentally and emotionally.
There are some conditions we see on an almost daily basis and can easily spot and manage, including dental erosion, tooth sensitivity and root surface caries. However, there is one that doesn’t always get the attention it deserves – xerostomia.
Xerostomia (dry mouth) is a common condition thought to affect at least one in four of the population, with an overall prevalence of 40 per cent in the over-65 age group. However, we are seeing a higher incidence of the condition in young people due to an increase in medications for conditions such as depressions and anxiety. With the impact of Covid-19, we are also seeing more patients with dry or sensitive mouths due to mask wearing, stress, anxiety or recovery from covid. This makes it all the more important for us as a dental team to help identify and manage dry mouth in our patients.