There has been an increase incidence of poly-pharmacy due to the fact that there is an increase in the life span and more number of people today are diagnosed with multiple conditions. Dry mouth (Xerostomia) is one of the known common side effects of consuming multiple medications. Xerosotmia is a common symptom found in an older adult population. Xerostomia is not only a symptom of different medical disorders but also an adverse effect of many prescribed medications and if left untreated can lead to increase prevalence in caries. Overtime there has been an increase in the number and frequency of medications and therefore it is important to understand the impact that it has in a dental setting.
Anti-psychotics, anti-depressant, anti-histamines, and anti-hypertensive are some examples of the medications that impact the salivary gland and its function, which in turn induces dry mouth. Poly-pharmacy can lead to hypo salivation which in turn increases the risk of caries; especially seen in older individuals. When there is a persistent reduction in the level of saliva, the oral cavity is more predisposed to coronal and root caries. “Saliva, via its lubricating, cleansing, remineralizing, antibacterial, and buffering actions, is an important protective factor for both dentition and soft tissue”. 1 Xerostomia or salivary hypofunction can also cause other symptoms like burning sensation, altered taste, difficulty chewing, swallowing, and speech. 2 As a dentist it is important to understand the etiology, symptoms and therefore provide the patient with a suitable treatment.
It is important as a dentist to recognize and diagnose the symptoms correctly earlier on in a patient in order to prov...
... middle of paper ...
...onald SL, Maravelis-splagounias L, Pretara-spanedda P, Curro FA. Caries prevalence in xerostomic individuals. J Can Dent Assoc. 1993;59(2):171-4, 177-9.
2. Saunders RH, Handelman SL. Effects of hyposalivatory medications on saliva flow rates and dental caries in adults aged 65 and older. Spec Care Dentist. 1992;12(3):116-21.
3. Liu B, Dion MR, Jurasic MM, Gibson G, Jones JA. Xerostomia and salivary hypofunction in vulnerable elders: prevalence and etiology. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol. 2012;114(1):52-60.
4. Ohara Y, Hirano H, Yoshida H, et al. Prevalence and factors associated with xerostomia and hyposalivation among community-dwelling older people in Japan. Gerodontology. 2013;
5. Thomson WM, Slade GD, Spencer AJ. Dental caries experience and use of prescription medications among people aged 60+ in South Australia. Gerodontology. 1995;12(12):104-10.