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Can Acupuncture Help to Treat Chronic Dry Mouth?

Posted on 2/27/2016 by Dr. Andrew Zeiger
A young man suffering from dry mouth. Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine that originated in China and has been used for thousands of years. Primarily used for the treatment of pain, this therapy has also shown other benefits, including the treatment of migraines, osteoarthritis, and even for fertility. Now, research has shown that this method could also be helpful in treating chronic dry mouth.

Acupuncture and Dry Mouth

Research about the connection between acupuncture and dry mouth was published in a 2005 edition of General Dentistry, a peer-reviewed journal by the Academy of General Dentistry. This study indicated that acupuncture is allowing some patients to significantly reduce or even relieve the effects of dry mouth.

This finding is important because the saliva is crucial for the overall health of the mouth, and when dry mouth occurs, saliva levels are decreased. Saliva is the natural defense system of the mouth and also plays an important role in neutralizing acids while rinsing away food particles. When saliva is decreased, patients will be at risk for gum disease and cavities.

Dry Mouth Has Wide-Reaching Effects

When patients fail to get treatment for their dry mouth, their quality of life could suffer. Symptoms include mouth infections, extensive tooth decay, ulcers, and changes in the sense of taste. Difficulty speaking, swallowing, eating, and wearing dentures may also occur.

Typical dry mouth treatment options have generally been short-lived, but studies have found that acupuncture could be a viable option for treating the condition in order to provide long-term relief.

Other Tips for Treating Dry Mouth

In addition to acupuncture, there are other methods that can help to provide relief from these symptoms:

•  Maintain proper oral hygiene
•  Avoid caffeine and alcohol
•  Chew sugar-free gum
•  Increase your water intake
•  Avoid dry and overly salty foods, as well as citrus juices

Regular dental checkups are also important for your long-term oral health. Contact our office to set up an appointment today.

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