Wednesday, March 26, 2014

WAGR Wednesday~When Dry Mouth Attacks!

It's WAGR Wednesday!  I thought I'd discuss today something that you may or may not experience, but if you do, it's good to know about it!  Dry mouth.  It can happen for a number of different reasons; side effect of chemotherapy, side effect of medication...but regardless of why it happens, it's important to identify it early and to make some changes that can reduce the effects of dry mouth.

I didn't realize that Evie was experiencing dry mouth until I found her in the living room one day and her mouth was bleeding. At the time, she was a toddler, unsteady on her feet, and didn't have verbal speech yet, I assumed she had fallen and hit her mouth.  However, when I took her to the dentist, he found that her teeth were immobile, and they did not appear to have been damaged in anyway.  He said, however, that she had a tear on her upper gum, and that it looked like the result of dry mouth. 
You know how, when the skin on your hands is dry, you can get cuts on them very easily?  It's the same with dry mouth, and dry eyes.  
Evie had dry mouth for, potentially, a couple of reasons.  1) She had chemotherapy.  2) She was on a blood pressure medication which could cause dry mouth.  Obviously we couldn't change the fact she'd had chemo, but if one of her medications had a potential side effect of dry mouth, maybe we could switch medications.

I, personally, have experienced dry mouth due to an increase in some medication to prevent migraines.  I have to say it was quite unpleasant.  It's not a dry sensation which can be eliminated by drinking water.  I could actually still feel the dryness of my mouth even WHILE having the water in my mouth.  The feeling is like have sores in your mouth (which often do develop from dry mouth); and anything that would touch the inside of my mouth made it hurt.
There's a product line that I started using for myself and Evie called Biotine. It's found in the same area where you would find toothpaste.  There's pastes, mouthwashes, and gels to help eliminate the effects of dry mouth.  I also have used a product called MI Paste which is for purchase, I believe, only in dental offices. 
Eventually, I was able to decrease my migraine medication, and Evie was switched off the medication which was causing her dry mouth.  It's important to try to eliminate what is causing dry mouth if possible, or to remain vigilant in treating it because when dry mouth is left un-treated there are other conditions which occur like tooth decay.  Since the mouth uses saliva to clean itself, a lack of saliva production can lead to a greater amount of decay.

So, while dry mouth isn't the worst condition one can experience, it is uncomfortable, and can lead to further complications.  Staying on top of the situation and treating it with over the counter products like the mouth gel that Evie and I used can help relieve the discomfort and prevent the other dental effects which can occur.

Thanks for taking the time today to read more about some of the things that our loved ones with WAGR Syndrome may experience; the good, the bad, and the somewhere in between. 

  

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