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Don’t Let Dry Mouth Become A Health Hazard

El Centro, California (NAPSI) - If you or anyone you care about is among the majority of  Americans who have stopped or wanted to stop taking a prescribed medication  due to side effects, there could be good news.

Some common side effects can  easily be treated with over-the-counter products.

According to a new survey by Wakefield Research, nearly one in three  adults has completely stopped taking a medication because of side effects  like dry mouth. Some 50 percent of Americans are on a prescription drug of  some sort and more than 400 common medications can cause dry mouth, including  over-the-counter cold remedies and antihistamines, antidepressants and  commonly used medications for high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes  and high cholesterol. When you take more medication, you increase the risk of  dry mouth. You have a 35 percent increased risk for dry mouth when you are on  three or more medications.

Dry mouth sufferers often don’t notice they have a problem until  their saliva flow has already dropped by 50 percent. Here’s how to tell  if you’re among the millions affected:

Dry Mouth Checklist

• Do you take one or more medications daily?

• Does your mouth usually feel dry?

• Do you regularly do things to keep your mouth moist?

• Do you get out of bed at night to drink fluids?

• Does your mouth usually become dry when you speak?

If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, you  may have a problem with dry mouth.

More About Dry Mouth

Also called xerostomia, dry mouth affects approximately one in four  adults, especially women and older people. If left untreated, it can cause  even more oral health problems such as cavities. Dry mouth increases the  likelihood of tooth decay by approximately three times because of the lack of  saliva that naturally protects teeth and gums.

Ask Your Pharmacist

Fortunately, pharmacists can help by encouraging and increasing dialogue  with their patients. “We want you to ask us about medication side  effects and what to do if you experience them,” said Pamala S.  Marquess, Pharm.D, a compensated spokesperson for Biotène. “Our  job is to also let you know what side effects you may experience with your  medication and counsel you to use the correct product for your level of  severity. For example, dry mouth is a very common side effect, so it’s  important to treat its symptoms to avoid creating other issues. As a  pharmacist, I can tell you that Biotène is the No. 1−recommended  dry mouth symptom treatment. It is specially formulated with moisturizers and  lubricants and provides soothing relief.”

Learn More

You can take a dry mouth quiz and find further facts about dealing with  dry mouth at www.biotene.com and (800)  922-5856.