According to the Office of National Statistics the UK population is growing and getting older. The total population is set to grow by over 4m in the next 10 years and by over 10m within 25 years.
Part of this growth is driven by an expanding older population. By 2039 the number of people over 75 years of age will rise by 10m.
At the same time more people are keeping at least some of their natural teeth. Back in 1978 nearly 1 in 3 people had none of their natural teeth, but by 2009 this had dropped to just 6%.
But what does this all have to do with oral health, and specifically dry mouth?
A big contributing factor in improved life expectancy is the management of illnesses and diseases, often through the development of new treatments and drugs.
The result is that many more people are on prescription medication. And often for many years!
Perhaps surprisingly over 50% of people aged 65+ years are on 5 or more prescription medications. And when you consider there is currently 10m people aged over 65 years – that’s a lot of people on a lot of drugs!
Whilst there is no doubt many of these prescription drugs dramatically extend and improve life, they do often have dry mouth as a side effect. The combination of 3 or more medications increases the risk of a dry mouth by 50%.
And while dry mouth can be no more than an inconvenience to some, it can have a significant effect on the health of your teeth and mouth.
Saliva is vital to help you speak, chew and swallow food, and protect your teeth and gums from decay and bacteria. Without saliva not only can eating and swallowing become more difficult, but without the protection of saliva you are at increased risk of tooth loss.
That’s why it’s important to keep your mouth lubricated and moisturised, which is where Oralieve Dry Mouth Relief products can help. The enzyme system in all Oralieve products is designed to replicate the action of natural saliva by moisturising your mouth, gums and cheeks helping keep your mouth healthy.