What Is Dry Mouth And How Does It Affect Oral Health

Oral health care and effects of dry mouth

Every once in a while we all experience a dry mouth, especially when we are nervous, upset or under stress. However, for some people, dry mouth, or xerostomia, is a common condition that is caused by lack of saliva in the mouth and is thought to affect at least 1 in 4 of the population, with 60% being in the 60+ age group, and over 33% going undiagnosed. If dry mouth is not treated it can be highly uncomfortable and can impact on oral health.

Saliva plays several important roles when it comes to keeping our mouths healthy. In addition to its role in digestion, saliva helps to cleanse the oral cavity, facilitate oral processing and swallowing of food, maintaining a neutral pH and preventing tooth demineralisation.

The Main Causes Of Dry Mouth

  • Lack of hydration
  • Snoring/mouth breathing
  • Some long term health conditions
  • Taking multiple medications – more than 500 medications, both prescription and over the counter, have dry mouth as a side effect
  • Head and neck cancer and cancer therapy dry mouth is one of the most common complications during and after radiotherapy and treatment.

Who Is Susceptible To Dry Mouth?

oral health with diabetes

People with diabetes

Patients with high blood sugar levels are prone to experiencing dry mouth and it can lead to further oral health complications.

Effects of dry mouth and cancer patients oral healthcare

People having treatment for cancer

Patients who are having treatment for cancer, in particular head and neck cancer, are at significant risk of developing dry mouth. Dry mouth is one of the most common complications during and after radiotherapy treatment.

 

oral health in dementia

People living with dementia

One of the main side effects of the medication patients with dementia and Alzheimer take is dry mouth. Common medications with this side effect include; antidepressants, antipsychotics and sedatives.

 

oral health with polypharmacy patients

People on multi-medication (polypharmacy)

More than 500 medications, both over the counter and prescription, have xerostomia as a side effect and the prevalence increases with each medication taken. More than 3 medications taken in combination can lead to a 50% risk of developing dry mouth.

 

oral health and dry mouth effects for people with depression

People with depression

Antidepressants are one of the groups of medication most commonly associated with dry mouth.

 

people with auto-immune disease and oral health

People with Auto-immune diseases

Patients with autoimmune diseases, such as Sjögren’s syndrome, may suffer from dry mouth. This is due to their body’s immune system attacking glands that secrete fluid, especially the saliva glands.

 

How Does Dry Mouth Impact Oral Health?

  • Effects of dry mouth in oral health careDifficulty speaking and swallowing – due to a lack of moisture and lubrication in the oral cavity.
  • Gum disease – with a reduced salivary flow bacteria and plaque will not be flushed from the mouth and is more likely to attack the teeth and gums.
  • Tooth decay – saliva helps maintain a neutral pH in the mouth and aids with food clearance. A lack of saliva can cause difficulties in buffering the acids caused by bacteria or ingested foods resulting in tooth decay
  • Viscous or sticky/stringy saliva – due to a lack of moisture and lubrication in the oral cavity.
  • A change in sense of tastesaliva plays a role in our experience of taste so people with dry mouth may find a change in their sense of taste, growing an intolerance towards spicy, salty, or sour foods and drinks.
  • A dry or burning feeling in the mouth, lips and throat
  • Cracked lipsa lack of moisture can cause sores on the lips, split skin at the corners of the lips and cracked dry lips.
  • A rough tongue – moisture of the tongue is maintained by the saliva. However, with a lack of salivary flow, the tongue can become extremely dry, sore and red causing discomfort and even a burning feeling.
  • Severe halitosis due to the lack of cleansing action provided by normal salivary volume and flow, patients can experience bad breath.
  • Mouth sores

The Symptoms Can Have A Dramatic Effect On A Person’s Wellbeing

Effects of dry mouth in oral health

Why Isn’t Water The Best Relief Method?

One of the most frequently used saliva substitutes is water and whilst it can be used as a saliva replacement, it doesn’t moisten and lubricate the oral mucosa and teeth adequately – something which is critical to provide relief for dry mouth. In addition, saliva plays a larger role in the mouth than just providing water.

As dry mouth is rarely associated with systemic dehydration, consuming large quantities of water does not overcome it, but merely provides temporary relief from the symptoms of dry mouth. People who compensate through frequent sipping of water, particularly at night, often report a decrease in sleep quality due to the increased frequency of urination.

Furthermore, drinking excessive amounts of water could potentially promote the loss of electrolytes and result in electrolyte imbalance.

Here Are Our Top Tips To Help You To Manage Dry Mouth

  • oral health care for dry mouth with Oralieve productsMaintain good oral hygiene
  • Improve hydration take regular sips of cold water or suck on ice cubes
  • Use water-based mouth gels, sprays and non-foaming toothpaste

How Can Oralieve Help?

All our Oralieve products contain bioactive ingredients and enzymes which supplement the natural systems in saliva to provide effective and lasting relief. Oralieve products help promote a healthy, comfortable mouth.

Having a dry mouth may mean a person’s mouth can be painful when using products containing strong flavours or detergents. Many oral hygiene products contain Sodium Laurel Sulphate SLS, which can irritate oral tissues. Oralieve products do not contain SLS, alcohol or strong flavours and have been tested and developed with dry mouth sufferers.

Click on an Oralieve product to reveal more information on how it can help the people you support with dry mouth.

Dry mouth relief with Oralieve mild toothpaste
Oralieve Ultra Mild Toothpaste
Moisturising mouth gel to relieve dry mouth
Oralieve Moisturising Mouth Gel
Oral health products for nourishing lips
Oralieve Nourishing Lip Care
Oral health dry mouth relief with Oralieve moisturising mouth spray
Oralieve Moisturising Mouth Spray

To download our Oral Hygiene Management Guide, click on the link below

Oral Hygiene Management Guide Long CTA

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Customer Testimonials

“We’ve built a strong working relationship with Hcsuk over many years, having used them to source, install and service our medical training equipment. We have always found the team very professional, helpful, and well-organised. We’d like to give a particular shout out to Phil, the technician / engineer who has been the consistent friendly face visiting our business to inspect and test our mobility hoists every 6 months. Thank you for all your support and advice.”

P. B. (Care Manager), Blue Bird Care Ltd

You are part of a great company, if we can help you grow by contracting you out to our sites its good for you, but it’s great for us because your service is fantastic, very efficient, everyone within Hcsuk is super helpful in answering queries and every time we’ve had an issue, Hcsuk has always been there to solve the problem almost immediately, which is fantastic.

Leicestershire County Council

Truly exceptional levels of customer service, the best I have experienced for many years. Very helpful staff made follow up calls to ask how the equipment was performing and supplied extra user instructions to supplement the manufacturers manual. I would not hesitate to order from this company again.

Savills Estate Agents

We would just like to pass on our thanks for all of your help with our orders and would be pleased if you would also pass on our thanks to the manufacturers for being so accommodating in meeting our requirements. We have found everyone very helpful.

Lincs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Since I set up the account for Hcsuk over 18 months ago I have found them to be an excellent advocate of our products. They have been willing to learn about the technical and servicing elements to our hoists and the sales staff have really taken on board and proactively promoted our range where possible. I feel that as a company Hcsuk have got the desire and right people in place for growing in this competitive industry. They seem to push themselves to go that little bit further and offer that little bit more to stand out from the rest. May our relationship continue going from strength to strength.

Joerns Healthcare

As a care home manager I have used Hcsuk for my supplies for the last 20 years in two homes. I have always found them to be helpful and reliable. Their products are of the highest standards, they are able to source anything. The delivery service is prompt and regular so I do not have to keep large amounts of stock. They supply extra services such as servicing and repairs which are done efficiently, and training in COSHH. The reps are pleasant and helpful bringing new products to my attention but are never ”pushy”. Aftercare is good, any problems soon sorted. I would recommend them highly and would not think of using anyone else.

Littleover Nursing Home

HPC have supplied Hcsuk (Health Care Services Ltd) for well over a decade now and we would consider them to be a high quality and professional business run in an organised and progressive manor. We do not rank our customers or have a preferred customer status but if we were to introduce such a scheme I can confirm that Hcsuk would easily make such a grade.

HPC Healthline

As a manufacturer we look for key values in a distributor some of these include honesty, reliability, commitment and reputation. Hcsuk carry all of these and many more. With a twenty plus year working relationship we now place Jo and the team at the top of our distributor list. I have no hesitation in recommending Hcsuk to any prospective manufacturer or customer and wish Jo and the team all the best for the future.

Cleenol Group Ltd

It is brilliant that we are able to ring Health Care Services and that you will go the extra mile to get us the stock we need as soon as possible.

Rykneld View Nursing Home

Just to say a huge thankyou to you and your fantastic team, and I mean that from the Heart. I have never before experienced such a person centred company.

Hampton Grange Nursing Home

What I like about working with Health Care Services is the relationship we have built up and the personal service. The homes report that you always deliver on time, the quality is consistantly good and the prices competitive. Your team members are always willing to go that extra mile for us and if ever we have an issue there is always someone there to save the day.

Eastgate Care

VAT Relief Information

Conditions for VAT relief for disabled people

Some of the products which can be purchased from the Hcsuk website are available for an eligible person to purchase without paying VAT on them. HM Revenue and Customs sets out the conditions when equipment for disabled people might be free of VAT and how to claim exemption from paying VAT on these products.

Products a can only be exempt from VAT when all the following conditions are met:

  1. The customer is eligible to purchase supplies at the zero rate
  2. The goods are for the personal or domestic use of the customer
  3. The goods and services are eligible to be supplied at the zero rate

A more detailed explanation of each of these conditions is given below, but you should visit the HM Revenue and Customs Website to fully understand the conditions

The product must be being purchased for someone who is chronically ill or disabled.

A person is ‘chronically sick or disabled’ if he/she is a person:

It does not include a frail elderly person who is otherwise able-bodied or any person who is only temporarily disabled or incapacitated, such as with a broken limb.

‘personal or domestic’ use means that the supply must be made available specifically for the use of an eligible individual.

You don’t have to physically buy the goods in person. If your parent, guardian or wife or husband buys the goods and services for you, then you won’t be charged VAT.

What counts as personal or domestic use?

Personal or domestic use means that the goods or services are supplied for your own private use, rather than for business purposes. Also, the goods or services must be just for your own use – not for use by anyone else, or chronically sick or disabled people in general. However, if you and your partner are both chronically sick or disabled and you buy goods or services for both of you to use, then you won’t have to pay VAT.

Products which are offered for sale on this website which qualify for VAT relief to be claimed for an eligible person.

The products which can be bought without paying VAT are:

Only the products on our site carrying the VAT exemption price (the smaller price marked ex VAT) are eligible to be purchased this way and you must tick the box on the basket page indicating that you wish to claim VAT exemption on the items in your basket that are eligible for VAT relief.

How to claim

On the my basket page of this website a link to the online declaration form is provided if the basket contains a product that qualifies for VAT relief. You must tick the box to state you wish to claim VAT relief on the eligible product and complete in full the reason by which you are ‘chronically sick or disabled’ and name and address of the claimant. If possible the person making the claim should complete this form, but a family member, carer or medical professional may complete the form on the claimants behalf. To submit the claim and receive the VAT relief, click the ‘Submit VAT Relief Claim’ button before proceeding to the checkout.

Please note that all orders submitted with a VAT relief claim form completed are checked before the order is processed.

It is necessary to complete a separate claim form each time a qualifying product is purchased from Hcsuk.

 

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