New report indicates acupuncture provides relief for sufferers of dry mouth
The emergence of acupuncture is allowing some patients to relieve or significantly reduce dry mouths debilitating effects, according to a report in the May/June 2005 issue of General Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistrys (AGD) clinical, peer-reviewed journal.
Dry mouth (also known as xerostomia) is a painful condition caused by a decrease in the amount of saliva in the mouth when salivary glands do not work properly. Saliva is a natural defense for teeth and plays a major role in preventing tooth decay by rinsing away food particles and neutralizing harmful acids.
A decrease in saliva puts patients at risk for cavities, gum disease and discomfort since foods that are consumed adhere to the teeth longer. Dry mouth can be caused by medications like antihistamines, decongestants, antidepressants and diuretics and can often be treated by the dentist.
The quality of life of patients suffering from dry mouth is often profoundly impaired. Symptoms include extensive dental decay, infections of the tissues of the mouth, difficulty in speaking, eating and swallowing, ulceration or soreness of the mouth, an altered sense of taste and difficulty in wearing dentures.
However, “typical treatment options for dry mouth have been short-term at best,” according to Warren M. Morganstein, DDS, MPH, and associate dean at the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, University of Maryland Dental School. “Studies have found that acupuncture was a viable option to successfully treat dry mouth pain in patients and provide long-term relief.”
After undergoing head and neck radiation therapy, seven patients with dry mouth were treated using acupuncture. Patients were seen once a week for four to five weeks, followed by two or three biweekly sessions. Dr. Morganstein found that eight months after treatment, all patients reported a reduction in dry mouth symptoms, as well as an increase in saliva flow and the ability to eat and speak, and improved sleep.
In the United States, acupuncture is performed primarily by licensed, non-physician acupuncturists. Additionally, physicians and a small number of dentists have been trained in medical acupuncture.
Acupuncture is effective in increasing the amount of saliva and, by doing so, alleviating or decreasing the symptoms of dry mouth.
To Ease Dry Mouth Pain:
Brush and floss twice a day
Chew sugarless gum
Avoid alcohol and caffeine
Avoid overly salty foods
Drink plenty of water
Avoid citrus juices (tomato, orange, grapefruit)
Avoid dry foods, such as toast or crackers
Use over-the-counter moisture replacement therapies
Visit the dentist regularly
All latest news from the category: Materials Sciences
Materials management deals with the research, development, manufacturing and processing of raw and industrial materials. Key aspects here are biological and medical issues, which play an increasingly important role in this field.
innovations-report offers in-depth articles related to the development and application of materials and the structure and properties of new materials.
In the quantum realm, not even time flows as you might expect
New study shows the boundary between time moving forward and backward may blur in quantum mechanics. A team of physicists at the Universities of Bristol, Vienna, the Balearic Islands and…
Hubble Spots a Swift Stellar Jet in Running Man Nebula
A jet from a newly formed star flares into the shining depths of reflection nebula NGC 1977 in this Hubble image. The jet (the orange object at the bottom center…