Saliva and xerostomia in thyroid disease treatment
Thyroid disease treatment and xerostomia (chronic dry mouth) are linked. Thyroid disease is frequently treated using radiation with a radioactive iodine isotope. This radiation treatment may have the unwanted side effect of dry mouth or xerostomia. Although it is a largely effective treatment, it may damage the salivary glands. The result is an uncomfortable feeling of dry mouth due to low or no saliva in the mouth. Low saliva may in turn cause complications in the gums, teeth, and general reduction in oral health and quality of life. The study reviewed in this blog post is focused on the importance of treating xerostomia.
Studying thyroid disease treatment & oral health side effects
A new study concludes that ….”dentists managing oral health of benign and malignant thyroid disease patients have a unique opportunity to intervene with measures that help keep oral complications to a minimum“. The study stresses the importance of xerostomia treatment. It concludes that dentists and oral health specialists should focus on providing solutions to thyroid disease patients suffering from dry mouth.
Oral health and radiotherapy
The meaning of this scientific study is that it is very important, as post thyroid treatment, to help patients activate their salivary glands so they produce more saliva. There are several methods to encourage damaged or compromised salivary glands to produce more saliva. It is possible to stop dry mouth. One natural way to help with dry mouth is the SaliPen® device, which offers instant Dry Mouth relief using electro stimulation.
Dry mouth can and should be treated
Saliva has many important roles in the mouth. The lack of saliva – known as dry mouth or xerostomia – may bring a very uncomfortable feeling. Dry mouth may cause multiple oral health complications. Low or no saliva are a real risk to general oral health. As the article quoted here states: …thyroid cancer patients have an excellent survival rate. Therefore it is important if radiation treatment damaged the salivary glands, to keep a good level of oral health. Treat xerostomia and dry mouth symptoms sooner rather than later by using a remedy or relief method best fit for your condition and preferences.
You can find more about the options for treating xerostomia in our How to cure dry mouth blog post.
Source: Radioactive iodine: An unappreciated threat to salivary gland function, G Sunavala-Dossabhoy, Oral Diseases, 2018;24:198–201. https://doi.org/10.1111/odi.12774 (retrieved online Jan. 2019)