Monday, October 14, 2013

A Sweet and Healthy Way to Fight Dry Mouth Caused by Sjögren’s Syndrome

Imagine living every day without enough saliva in your mouth – trying to swallow, to talk, to chew food, and struggling with each task. This constant discomfort is a reality for anyone diagnosed with Sjögren’s Syndrome. Finding a way to produce more saliva – without always sucking on a sugary candy or lozenge – has been a never-ending search for those with dry mouth. But the simple birch tree – and the natural sweetener, xylitol, that it produces – may just be the answer.

About four million Americans live with Sjögren’s Syndrome, an autoimmune condition that attacks the body’s moisture-producing glands, including salivary glands. One of the primary – and most difficult to live with - symptoms of Sjögren’s is dry mouth.
 

Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is caused by the body producing too little saliva. While saliva is primarily water, it also contains numerous other substances which serve to protect teeth from decay, help with chewing and swallowing, and to lubricate and help cleanse the mouth. When there is too little saliva, all of these functions suffer.
 

While there are prescription medications that have been developed to help relieve the symptoms of dry mouth, many sufferers find that they still need something to get them through the daily motions of talking, eating, and swallowing. Small sips of water can help, but too much water can actually dilute the small amounts of saliva being produced and decrease its benefits.
 

Finding ways to stimulate saliva is a constant quest for those living with Sjögren’s. Many turn to candy, gum, and lozenges for that purpose, but of course the sugar often found in those sweets can further promote tooth decay - already a risk in a dry mouth that lacks saliva to rinse away food particles. And “sugar-free” candies, with various artificial sweeteners, may carry their own risks. 
 

Treats sweetened with xylitol, however, may just be the best of both worlds. Xylitol is a natural extract of the birch tree. It provides a natural sweetness to hard candies and gums, and in fact, it has been shown to actually fight against tooth decay instead of promote it – a big bonus for anyone with dry mouth.
 

Today there is an amazing array of hard candies, gums, lollipops, and more made with xylitol, and offered in a rainbow of trendy flavors like pomegranate, cherry blossom, mango, and much more (including classic favorites like grape and peppermint.) Visit www.drjohns.com for a great selection of treats sweetened with xylitol.

Resources: https://www.sjogrens.org/home/about-sjogrens-syndrome/symptoms/dry-mouth

3 comments:

  1. Foods in a more liquid form may be easier to eat because of their moisture. Avoiding over-the-counter products will also help. Consult with your physician if you think a prescription medication might be causing your dry mouth.

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  3. Amazing article about Dry mouth. If dry mouth is reason by a health related condition that can be changed, your dentist will believe making a change. For example, dry mouth is a general side effect of drugs used to treat depression and worry, pain, allergies. Not only does spit help take in food and make it possible for you to chew and drink, it is the natural mouth cleanser. Without saliva, tooth rot and gum disease are more likely to happen. If you have a dry mouth, you need to pay extra attention to good oral cleanliness habits. Treating Dry Mouth: Carry a bottle of water with you and sip it throughout the day to keep your mouth moistens. Sports drinks or even milk can work as well, but keep away from anything that contains sugar .Chewing and sucking both stimulates saliva production. Use sugarless gum or candy, since people with dry mouth are at high risk of developing cavities. Avoid tobacco, alcohol. Try to go without this matter for a day or two and see if your symptoms improve. If you only have these rarely, there is most likely another cause for your symptoms. Still, lowering your intake may make your form less harsh. If you’re dry mouth is not as good as when you wake up, it could be caused by snoring. Water may help by keeping the air moist at night, but think talking to a doctor to find the cause of the snoring. Keep in mind that only an the study of diseases of the ear and throat will be able to examine in detail any possible cause, so you may want to ask your doctor for a referral to a expert. If none of the lifestyle changes above get better your condition, visit a doctor. Dry mouth can be a sign of a serious medical condition. On the way it was just solution today there is an amazing array of hard candies, gums, lollipops, and more made with like pomegranate, and much more.

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