|Presenter: Patti DiGangi, RDH, BS|
|Credits: 1 CEU||Release Date: 6/9/15|
|CE Supporter: GC America||Reviewed: 2021 Expiration Date: 6/9/24|
Connie has multiple sclerosis that continues to debilitate her physically yet she says her biggest issue is her oral dryness. Her tongue and palate stick like Velcro. Connie’s health is constantly changing and what she needs to manage her dry mouth continues to change; just like every other patient we see. Studies estimate that dry mouth may affect up to 20 percent of the adult population and nearly 50 percent of the elderly. Dry mouth can be caused by variety of issues, including chronic diseases such as Sjorgren’s Syndrome, radiation therapy, bone marrow transplants, side effects of medication, sleep apnea and more. Dry mouth can be a factor in caries infection, periodontal disease, fungal infections, bad breath and oral cancer. The presence or absence of saliva does not equal oral health. The quantity, quality, flow and pH of an individual’s saliva are also important. Comprehensive management of dry mouth involves a complete understanding of the causative and risk factors. There is no one-size-fits-all solution.
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