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Dry Mouth, Stress, and Smoking
Mar 2, 2000

Hello Dr.

I have had a risky encounter with a 21yr old female approx. 5mths ago. I have had two complete blood tests and urethral swabs performed which all came back negative. However I have been experiencing chronic dry mouth since then. I am a smoker and have been for 12yrs, could it be that the smoking is catching up to me, or the stress from the frightful situation. I have mentioned the dry mouth to my Dr. and Dentist and they both said it's from the stress I had experienced, and the smoking just adds to as well as the tongue thrusting. I'm not on any medications, nor do I have or have any other symptoms that can be related to HIV. Any comments? Thanks.

Response from Dr. Reznik

I think you have answered your own question: dry mouth can be caused by a number of things including stress and smoking. There are literally hundreds of medications which can cause dry mouth as well.

My advice would be to make sure you visit your dental office regularly for preventive visits as people with dry mouth do not enjoy the cleansing benefits of salivary flow. I would also suggest that you either chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free hard candies both of which will increase the amount of saliva production. It is very important that you brush your teeth and tongue for at least 2 minutes, 3 times a day.

If you are "cavity prone", I would ask your dentist about fluoride applications such as Duraphat and home therapy with a high strength neutral sodium fluoride toothpaste such as Prevident 5000 Plus.

Like with other issues, it is important to address the underlying condition, which in this case would be stress.

I hope this information proves helpful!

DR


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