Thursday, May 29, 2014

Drugs and Dry Mouth (The Top Five Prescription Drugs)

Dry mouth (also called xerostomia,) can be very uncomfortable.  Your entire mouth including the lips, tongue and throat can become very dry if saliva production decreases.  Having dry mouth can making eating uncomfortable or painful and can cause bad breath.  It can lead to higher levels of plaque, tooth decay, and dentures that are ill-fitting.  It may even cause an outbreak of thrush, a yeast infection that can occur in the mouth.  Unfortunately, dry mouth is a common side effect of many medications.  While saliva levels can return to normal if a medication is discontinued, this is not an option for many people.  If a medication needs to be taken for a long period of time or permanently, dry mouth must be managed to maintain the health of the mouth and teeth.  The mouth, after all, is meant to be a wet place!  Dry mouth symptoms can be managed by sipping water frequently, chewing sugarless gum or sucking on sugarless candies, using lip balms and with products like Biotene.  Biotene is sold in drug stores without a prescription as a rinse, spray or gel.  It acts by lubricating the mouth and holding in moisture.  (For more information see There are also store brands available.  Since saliva production decreases during sleep, using this kind of product before going to bed may be very helpful.  It is also very important to continue to brush and floss regularly if you have dry mouth.  Below lists the five most commonly prescribed drugs. ( ) 

Three of them - Abilify, Nexium, and Advair Diskus - can cause dry mouth.

1-      Abilify (aripiprazole) – treats depression. 

2-      Nexium (esomeprazole) – treats GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) and reduces stomach acid.

3-      Humira (adalimumab) – treats rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, psoriasis; also may be used to treat Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

4-      Crestor (rosuvastatin) – lowers “bad” cholesterol

5-      Advair Diskus (fluticasone & salmeterol) – for treatment of asthma and COPD.  

Dry mouth can interfere with your quality of life and the health of your mouth so speak with your doctor, dentist, dental hygienist or other health professional about ways to manage it.

This information is not intended to treat or diagnose any dental or medical problem or illness.  Please visit your medical or dental health professional if you need medical or dental treatment!

1 comment:

  1. Just read article about a study that shows a relationship between tooth loss and depression/anxiety. Interesting as the number one prescribed medication is for depression! (to see this article go to:,_Tooth_Loss.aspx )


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