Drymouse Q&A

Q 21:Is it a disease if both the eyes and mouth are dry?
A 21:There is the possibility of side effects from medication or Sjogren's syndrome, an autoimmune disease. Dry conditions due to aging is also a possibility. If it is Sjogren's syndrome then it is a disease, however it may just be due to a combination of various symptoms, therefore medical examination is necessary.

Q 22:I can't eat bread or biscuits. Do I have dry mouth?
A 22:If the mouth becomes dry when eating bread and it is difficult to swallow, it could be due to a decrease in saliva and so dry mouth might be a possibility.

Q 23:There is something wrong in my sense of taste. Do I have dry mouth?
A 23:The sense of taste can be affected if the mouth is dry, however it may also be for a different reason therefore it would be best to consult a specialist.

Q 24:Is there a connection between the digestive system's condition and dry mouth?
A 24:When there is a decrease in saliva, the mouth dries causing food not to be digested well and this can cause gastrointestinal problems. Also in the case of the autoimmune disease Sjogren's syndrome, dry mouth and gastrointestinal problems can occur.

Q 25:Is there a relation between constipation and dry mouth?
A 25:There is no direct relation between dry mouth and constipation but visiting a specialist is recommended.

Q 26:What is Sjogren's syndrome?
A 26:The main symptoms of patients are dry mouth and dry eye from connective tissue disease (autoimmune disease). The patient's own immune cells attack the salivary gland and the lacrimal gland (tear producing gland) so that there is less saliva and tears causing dry eye and dry mouth. This disease very rarely leads to death, however without treatment the dryness of the eyes and mouth will not improve.

Q 27:Can an autoimmune disease be cured?
A 27:Most autoimmune diseases are said to be difficult to cure. However through treatment, symptoms can be relieved therefore it is best to see a specialist.

Q 28:Is there a relation between menopause and dry mouth?
A 28:In menopause the production of female hormones decrease. When estrogen decreases, vaginal dryness and various other bodily changes occur. Sjogren's syndrome occurs often in menopausal women therefore a medical examination is recommended.

Q 29:Is there a relation between drinking alcohol and dry mouth?
A 29:When drinking alcohol, although you may think your fluid intake has increased, due to alcohol's diuretic effect (increase in urine) fluid is lost, causing the mouth to dry.

Q 30:Is there a relation between aging and dry mouth?
A 30:Usually upon reaching a certain age, various functions begin to deteriorate. The salivary gland is the same and so it also deteriorates with age causing dry mouth to occur.

Q 31:What side effects do cevimeline hydrochloride drugs have?
A 31:These stimulate the salivary gland but they sometimes also stimulate the stomach. Diarrhea and nausea may occur but this should improve after a while.

Q 32:Do I have to take cevimeline hydrochloride drugs 3 times a day?
A 32:To maintain daily saliva flow, it is thought best to be taken 3 times a day. However depending on the patient's condition, it can also be taken only when the dry mouth conditions are most troublesome (for example before bedtime) and sometimes taken only twice a day, in the morning and at night.

Q 33:Cevimeline hydrochloride drugs don't work for me.
A 33:When there are few salivary glands left, sometimes this drug doesn't work well. If after taking it for 4-8 weeks there is still no difference, it would be best to discuss this with your physician and change to a different treatment method.

Q 34:How is moisturizing gel effective for dry mouth? 
A 34:Moisturizing gel (such as BioXtra and Oral Balance) is a topical medication applied inside the mouth. It does not produce saliva but lubricates the mouth thereby lessening the feeling of dryness. However its effectiveness lasts for only 2-3 hours and it must be reapplied often and can also be sticky when talking.

Q 35:Is it all right to use moisturizing gel along with cevimeline hydrochloride drugs?
A 35:Cevimeline is a drug that induces saliva secretion. Moisturizing gel is used to ease the dryness by lubrication with the gel. If one doesn't work well on its own then it is all right to use them together. There are no ill effects from using these two simultaneously.

Q 36:I have stopped taking cevimeline hydrochloride drugs. Will my dry mouth worsen? 
A 36:Cevimeline is a drug that stimulates the salivary gland so when not taken, dry mouth symptoms may reoccur. However this does not mean that the symptoms will worsen.

Q 37:Do dry mouth symptoms worsen?
A 37:This would depend on the cause of dry mouth. Dry mouth may worsen in the elderly along with bodily function decline and also if it is medication-induced and the medication is increased. There are various causes for each patient and so it would be best to consult your physician.

Q 38:What can I do daily for dry mouth?
A 38:When the mouth is dry, your throat can get sore and tooth decay is more likely to occur. Brushing your teeth, using good dental hygiene and restoring moisture with water is recommended.

Q 39:Are salty foods bad for dry mouth?
A 39:Salt is not particularly bad for dry mouth. However excessive intake can cause thirst and intake over a long period of time can lead to high blood pressure and strokes.

Q 40:Are sweet foods (sugar) bad for dry mouth?
A 40:Sweet foods increase tooth decay. Dry mouth won't get worse but tooth decay could worsen.