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Dry Mouth, Osteoporosis – 10 “Gotta See” Questions

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Dry Mouth, Osteoporosis – 10 “Gotta See” Questions

Ever have a dry mouth? It could be a sign of osteoporosis. The journal Menopause published a study showing that women in menopause who have a dry mouth are at increased risk of low calcium and osteoporosis (brittle bones).

First, doctors eliminated medical reasons for a dry mouth, such as:

  • Medication (an antihistamine, diuretic or medicine for urinary incontinence)
  • Conditions such as Sjogren’s syndrome (includes dry eyes and dry mouth)
  • Damage to the salivary glands from surgery, medical treatment or radiation
  • Excessive sweating or too little water intake (you need 8-12 glasses/day)
  • Smoking
  • Nerve damage from head and neck injury or surgery
  • Dehydration from excessive exercise, fever, burns or diarrhea.

Then they tested the saliva. Women with none of the reasons above for a dry mouth had more calcium, more of the adrenal hormone cortisol and more parathyroid hormone in their saliva and a high incidence of osteoporosis on their bone density test. Women without a dry mouth had normal levels of calcium, cortisol and parathyroid hormone in their saliva and were less likely to have osteoporosis.

If you are in menopause and answer ‘yes’ to three or more of the questions below, ask your doctor about a bone density test to find out if you have osteoporosis or brittle bones. There are many medications to treat thin bones or brittle bones to help prevent hip fracture.

Here’s 10 Important Questions…

  1. Does your mouth feel dry when eating a meal?
  2. Do you have difficulty swallowing any foods?
  3. Do you need to sip liquids to aid in swallowing dry foods?
  4. Does the amount of saliva in your mouth seem to be reduced most of the time?
  5. Does your mouth feel dry at night or on awakening?
  6. Does your mouth feel dry during the daytime”?
  7. Do you chew gum or use candy to relieve oral dryness?
  8. Do you usually wake up thirsty at night?
  9. Do you have problems in tasting food?
  10. Does your tongue burn?

Editor’s Note: As Dr. Seibel says, “It’s better to stay well than to get well!”  Visit his award-winning site at

“It’s better to stay well than to get well!”  Mache Seibel, MD.

Dr. Machelle (Mache) Seibel is America’s health expert, addressing the critical needs of consumers from stress and weight control to menopause and beyond. He served on the Harvard Medical School faculty for almost 20 years and is a pioneer in many areas of women’s health and more. He works with companies and organizations to bring exciting educational content to consumers. His professional experiences include:

– Host for PBS and NBC TV episodes, frequent media expert;

– Repeatedly voted into Best Doctors in America;

– Past Editor-in-Chief of the medical journal Sexuality, Reproduction & Menopause;

– Distinguished Alumnus Award, the University of Texas Medical Branch’s highest honor 2008;

– Multiple national awards for research, writing, music writing and patient education;

– Professor, University of Massachusetts Medical School 2004-present;

– Director, Complicated Menopause Program, University of Massachusetts Medical School 2004-2011;

– Founder of HealthRock®, reshaping health education with health songs and entertainment;

– Past Medical Director, Inverness Medical Innovations (now Alere);

– Corporate Consultant and Corporate Health Expert Nationally and Internationally;

– Author/editor 14 books, over 200 scientific articles;

– American Cancer Society New England Division Medical Advisory Network;

– Advisory board of Dr. Mehmet Oz’s HealthCorps initiative to fight childhood obesity; and

– Nationally known guest speaker, key note speaker.

Visit his award-winning website and sign up for his free monthly newsletter.

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