Springtime is here in the Vail Valley, and allergies abound! Many of us take antihistamines such as Allegra, Zyrtec and Claritin to help alleviate our symptoms. Many of these drugs have side effects that affect the oral cavity. One such side effect is dry mouth. Dry mouth leads to a decrease in our body’s natural defense mechanism to cavities……our saliva! People with dry mouth are more prone to cavities and gingivitis. We are not advising stopping the use of antihistamines, but rather being aware of the possibility of dry mouth.
Drinking water regularly and using sugar free gums and/or mints can help stimulate saliva and help maintain the pH of the oral environment. Biotene products that are purchased from most supermarkets and pharmacies, can also replace the missing saliva.