Health Tip: How Dry I Am

Fight dry mouth

(HealthDayNews) -- As people age, their glands tend to produce less saliva, causing dry mouth.

The condition is made worse by certain medical disorders and by use of drugs such as antihistamines, decongestants, painkillers and diuretics, the American Dental Association says.

Side effects of a frequent dry mouth include a sore throat, problems speaking and swallowing, hoarseness and dry nasal passages. Left untreated, dry mouth can damage your teeth, since saliva normally works to wash away food and neutralize the acids produced by plaque.

Your dentist can recommend various methods to restore moisture. Sugar-free candy or gum stimulates saliva flow, and products including artificial saliva and oral rinses also may help.

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