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News / July 13, 2009

Medicine worsens dry mouth, say dental experts

by Guy Hiscott

A new study suggests that dry mouth is made worse by taking medication.

One in four adults in the US has the condition, which means up to 25% of the population could be at risk of tooth decay.

The study by scientists at the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) has identified that xerostomia could be exacerbated by taking medication.


It was found that 91% of dentists found that patients coming to them with dry mouth had a regular intake of at least one medication.


Dr Cindy Kleiman, from AGD, said: ‘The number of xerostomia cases has increased greatly over time because people are taking more and more medications.’


Medication, such as painkillers, anti-depressants, tranquilisers, diuretics and antihistamines, contribute to the condition, particularly when they are combined.


Xerostomia is also thought to be more prevalent in smokers and can impinge on a sufferer’s ability to eat and speak.