Tips for Older Adults with Dry Mouth

Dr. Lorentzen was interviewed by Minneapolis / St. Paul Magazine about tips for older adults dealing with dry mouth. Here's a copy of his interview:

 

Older Adults

As people age and start using more medications, they often experience dry mouth, or xerostomia. More than an annoyance, dry mouth can do major damage to teeth and gums. Dr. Steven Lorentzen of Lorentzen Dental in Golden Valley sees patients every day with dry mouth.

Oral conditions become dangerous when medications dry up saliva. It isn't doing its job of washing away harmful bacteria, making people highly susceptible to tooth decay. Cavities can appear both in the tooth and root, thanks to gum recession many older adults experience.

Tips for Dry Mouth

Lorentzen offers several solutions, including a prescription fluoride toothpaste that strengthens tooth enamel, helping ward off decay. He also recommends artificial saliva like Biotene and xylitol toothpastes and mouthwashes. An antimicrobial natural sweetener, xylitol mints and gums like 3M's Theramints and the brand Spry keep bacteria at bay.

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