Drymouse Q&A

Q 61:Is sicca syndrome of the mouth and of the eye related?
A 61:Sjogren's syndrome is a disease where a person's own immune cells attack its own salivary gland tissue and eye tissue. Saliva and tears decrease and so the mouth and eyes become dry. However dry symptoms of the mouth and of the eyes might be due to separate causes and therefore a medical examination is recommended.

Q 62:What happens if the mouth is left dry?
A 62:When saliva decreases and the mouth becomes dry, tooth decay and periodontal disease can occur. Also if the mouth is dry it can be difficult to sleep at night, to talk, to eat dried food and can cause bad breath thus interfering with normal everyday life.

Q 63:My tongue hurts. Is this due to dry mouth?
A 63:The main causes for a sore tongue are bacterial infections such as candida, mouth ulcers and dry mouth. If your mouth is dry and your tongue hurts, it could possibly be due to Sjogren's syndrome, therefore a medical examination is necessary.

Q 64:The area around my mouth is cracking. Is this dry mouth?
A 64:Cracking around the mouth can be caused by bacterial infections such as candida or dry mouth. If the mouth is dry and cracking occurs at the corners of the mouth, dry mouth is a possible cause.

Q 65:Is chewing gum effective for dry mouth?
A 65:In chewing gum, the salivary gland is stimulated and this helps the saliva flow. However if there is no saliva even through chewing gum then Sjogren's syndrome is a possibility and testing is necessary.

Q 66:When I get tense my mouth dries. Is this a disease?
A 66:Dry mouth from tension is not a disease. By relieving the tension, dry mouth should also ease.

Q 67:The medication I receive from my psychiatrist makes me thirsty. Is there treatment?
A 67:Many medications prescribed by a psychiatrist can cause thirst. This is a side effect but if the symptom should worsen and become unbearable it would be best to consult your psychiatrist and have the medication changed or the amount decreased.

Q 68:After treatment for tooth decay should I get treatment for dry mouth?
A 68:When the mouth is dry, tooth decay and periodontal disease are likely to occur. Even if tooth decay treatment is over, if the mouth is dry, decay is likely to reoccur therefore along with dental hygiene, dry mouth treatment is recommended.

Q 69:How long must I keep being treated for dry mouth?
A 69:This depends on the cause of dry mouth. If it is due to psychiatric medication then a change in medication could ease the symptoms. If it is from aging, stimulation from chewing gum could also make a positive difference. In the cases of radiation therapy and Sjogren's syndrome, the salivary glands have decreased, therefore treatment over a long period of time will be necessary.

Q 70:How long do I need to keep taking cevimeline hydrochloride drugs?
A 70:Cevimeline is a medication which stimulates the salivary gland but cannot make the salivary gland normal again. Therefore it is necessary to keep taking it until salivary gland function returns to its normal state. The duration would be from 3 months until an extended period of time and would be stopped after measuring salivary gland function.

Q 71:The medication for dry mouth makes me nauseous. What should I do?
A 71:Medication to improve dry mouth symptoms can affect the stomach. Please consult your physician to either decrease the amount or frequency of medication. It is also possible to take medication for the nausea.

Q 72:I am taking herbal medication. Is it all right to take this with cevimeline hydrochloride drugs?
A 72:There is no problem in taking herbal medication along with these drugs.

Q 73:I am taking herbal medication. Is it all right to take it with humectants?
A 73:There is no problem in taking it with humectants.

Q 74:I have dentures, should I be treated for dry mouth?
A 74:It depends on the type of dentures but full dentures adhere to the gums with saliva.With dry mouth, there is little saliva and so dentures don't adhere well and this can cause problems. It can also cause oral diseases so it is best to get treatment.

Q 75:My gums hurt. Is this dry mouth?
A 75:The pain could be due to dry mouth and so it would be best to get a medical examination.

Q 76:What is salivary scintigraphy?
A 76:This is a test method in which non-harmful radioactive substance is injected and when it gathers in the salivary gland, the state of the salivary gland can be seen as an image. In this way the condition of the entire salivary gland can be checked.

Q 77:Can dry mouth be found through MRI?
A 77:In checking the entire salivary gland, dry mouth itself cannot be directly found, however the cause of dry mouth can be checked.

Q 78:Can dry mouth be checked using filter paper? 
A 78:This method is used in some facilities. Saliva is absorbed into filter paper and dryness of the mouth is examined. It is said to be useful to check unstimulated saliva and this method is one that will be verified in the future.

Q 79:How does Parotin work?
A 79:This is a substance collected from animal saliva and is said to effectively influence the salivary gland, however this is in doubt at the present time.

Q 80:I have received asthma medication to increase my saliva flow. What is this?
A 80: I think that you are taking either ambroxol hydrochloride (Mucosolvan) or bromhexine hydrochloride (Bisolvon). Rather than being asthma medication,they are more for moisturizing the respiratory tract. As they have some influence in the mouth they are likely being used for dry mouth even though you do not have any bronchial illness.