Dear Dr. Ellie,
I am a 38-year-old mother of two. I am perimenopausal and lately I have been experiencing a dry mouth. I know that a dry mouth can affect my teeth and gums. What can I do?
Karen M., Pittsford, NY
Unfortunately you are at higher risk for cavities and dental damage because of your dry mouth, but fortunately Xylitol can help! A dry mouth promotes the growth of harmful germs which will damage your teeth over time. Xylitol will make your mouth an inhospitable place for these dangerous germs, by producing saliva, and keeping the PH in your mouth in check.
Saliva flow is very important to protect teeth. Your dry mouth is a sign of dehydration, (common for women) which reduces natural saliva protection for teeth and mouth breathing will make this worse. Eating Xylitol gum or mints stimulates saliva flow and also makes the mouth acid-neutral (pH 7.0). So drink your bottled (PH of 7.0) water and eat xylitol mints (Zellies) about 7 times a day. This will help your dry mouth and protect your teeth and gums.
Dr. Ellie Phillips