Does Dry Mouth discriminate by age? Yes and no.
One of the most common myths about Dry Mouth is that only older adults can get it. We busted this myth in a previous blog post. Dry Mouth can be caused by a number of factors, including autoimmune diseases, chemotherapy and radiation -- factors that don’t discriminate by age. So, if you think you’re too young to get Dry Mouth, you’re not. Dry Mouth can happen to anyone.
Still, Dry Mouth is common in older adults and can be complicated by age. While no one is immune to Dry Mouth, it’s worth taking a look at the unique risks older adults face.
In this article published by The Journal of the American Dental Association, researchers estimate that 30 percent of the adult population in the U.S. age 65 and older have Dry Mouth. Being older than 65 does not mean you will get Dry Mouth. As the article says:
Some data show age-related changes in salivary constituents, but other evidence shows age-stable production of salivary electrolytes and proteins in the absence of major medical problems and medication use. Clinicians should not attribute complaints of a dry mouth and findings of salivary hypofunction in an older person to his or her age; an appropriate diagnosis is required.
In other words, in healthy older adults, salivary glands will continue to produce sufficient saliva. What causes Dry Mouth in older adults is not getting older but the health problems that can coincide with aging. Most often it is prescription medications taken for age-related health issues that cause Dry Mouth in older adults.
Over 400 medications can cause Dry Mouth. These include antihistamines, anti-anxiety medications, and heart disease and chemotherapy medications. If you’re an older adult on one these medications, your doctor will probably insist you continue taking it, even if it causes Dry Mouth.
But Dry Mouth can lead to a number of health complications that only add to the existing problems many older adults face. Tooth decay, difficulty chewing, swallowing and digesting food, and gum disease can all be caused by chronic Dry Mouth. If an older adult is already taking medications for an existing illness, developing Dry Mouth will further complicate his or her health.
What can older adults do? They can’t stop taking their medication, but they don’t want to suffer from Dry Mouth either. While Dry Mouth symptoms can be temporarily relieved or masked by drinking more water or chewing sugar-free gum, one of the best ways to relieve Dry Mouth discomfort for an extended period of time is by using an oral conditioner like HYDRALIEF™.
We created HYDRALIEF™ with older adults in mind. We knew how many prescriptions could cause Dry Mouth, and we knew not everyone -- especially older adults -- had the privilege to simply stop taking their medication. So, we got to work.
Our formula is gentle. We don’t use alcohol or other harsh irritants often found in Dry Mouth products. We use only natural, FDA-approved ingredients, so using HYDRALIEF™ is actually a pleasant, rather than painful, experience. HYDRALIEF™ also lasts longer than other commercial products because it moisturizes the entire oral cavity, while helping promote healthy saliva production. With HYDRALIEF™, older adults can continue taking their essential medications without having to suffer from Dry Mouth and its complications.
Dry Mouth doesn’t discriminate by age. Anyone can suffer from it, and many do. But if you are an older adult who thinks you have to live with Dry Mouth because of your medication, you don’t. Try HYDRALIEF™ and see what a difference it can make.