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Dry Mouth

Dear Tim,

My daughter happened upon your website and this amazing info.  I have somewhat of a different problem though.  I am a 56 year old female and have already gone through menopause about 15 years ago.  My dentist did tell me that I too have a Geographic Tongue, but that it isn’t too bad.  Actually my real problem causing my pain isn’t exactly my tongue, but the whole insides of my mouth.  The only way I can describe it, is that it is likened to someone having sandpapered the whole inside of my mouth and it is raw and sometimes bleeding.  I also have really bad dry mouth.

Now for why I am not your typical patient.  I had gastric bypass surgery in Jan. 2003.  I had the more radical procedure called Distal RNY which is more malabsorbtive, so therefore I am more malnourished.  I have lost approximately 145 lbs.  My mouth issues started about 1 year after my surgery.  My teeth also began to rot and I am now having to have them all removed and replaced with either dentures or implants.  This is also when the dry mouth got worse too.  Due to the pain in my mouth, I am very limited as to what won’t hurt or burn so much when I eat.  I also can’t eat things that are going to poke my cheeks and really cause the pain to worsen.

So, as you can see, I am in a very critical situation and really need to eat as much as possible and the right foods.  We bypass patients must take vitamin supplements for the rest of our lives, but since we don’t absorb very much of what we eat or take in, (approx. 15% of the nutrients of what we eat) we are basically malnourished.  So as you can see, your information is right on track with what my body is doing or should I say, not doing.  I take double the recommended daily vitamins that are for women 50+ and are very high in vitamins and minerals and antioxidants too. I also take two Viactiv calcium chews along with my other prescription medications, such as Potassium Chloride tabs 8 MEQ, blood pressure meds and Aciphex for acid reflux, and PremPro.  I also take 1 sublingual B12/ B6/ Folic Acid pill daily along with iron tablets and B1 tabs. 2 times a week.  I also have labs done about every 2 to 3 months.  I am sometimes at the low end of the “normal” range, but the doc says not to worry!!!  Easy for him to say!  Since I don’t know what you have determined is lacking and causing the mouth issues, I don’t know if I am having the needed labs done to tell me if I am deficient in it.  I eat mostly proteins, which is what we are suppose to eat first.

I have been to every type of specialist for this problem with no answers!  They originally thought this was all due to yeast…then they thought it was due to an auto immune disease of some sort, such as Sjogrens or Fibromyalgia.  Tests ruled these out too.  I have seen my Internist, Endocrinologist, Ear Nose & Throat, (who took a huge hunk out of my cheek for biopsy purposes and now I have even more problems there) an Infectious Disease Doc, a nutritionist along with my surgeon who did the bypass surgery, and finally I saw a Rheumatologist who felt that I was basically starved like the people who live in Third World Countries.  He had me taking Niacin and that stuff almost took me down for the count.  Powerful stuff!!!  It didn’t help…..

I still have the dry mouth and the mouth sores.  It seems to cycle like you mentioned that the tongue does.  No rhyme or reason I can figure out, of what makes it better or worse.  My tongue is white just on the right side and the fissures are slight and not painful.  My dentist is the one who said that I had a Geographical Tongue and he thought it unusual that it didn’t move around, like the book says!  I was treated for almost a year with every known type of antifungal medication with no results.  I had suffered with many yeast infections prior to my surgery, due to diabetes, which is now gone due to the weight loss.

In closing, my main question for you, is….. am I suffering with something completely different from the Geographic Tongue and are your findings on this subject something that will also take care of my situation.  I can only take so many supplements and they sort of go “through” me very quickly and don’t get absorbed completely.  I would need to take much more of whatever your research has found to help.  Is this possible for me?

Thank You so Very Much for taking the time to read all this info. on me.  I hope you can direct me as to if your plan would also work for my “mouth” pain/problems.  It’s been almost 2 years now that I have suffered with this malady.  I would love to just be able to eat normal and healthy again and not worry about “literally” starving to death.  I sometimes just cry and have to eat through the pain and burning.  I truly miss flavors that are too strong like ketchup or anything acidic which burn so badly.  Heck, even water can “burn”.

Sincerely,

Lynda

Dear Lynda,

Often Dry Mouth, Dry Eyes, and Dry Skin is the result of a deficiency in Vitamin A. In the following video Dr. Eric Berg explains why drinking more water won’t fix dry skin.

 

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About the Author Tim McMahon

  • Tim McMahon says:

    Lynda,

    From what you said it looks like the gastric bypass and reflux are probably the primary causes of your problems. The book does cover dry mouth, and burning mouth syndrome (which can be related to your teeth by the way) so it will be interesting to see if you have any improvement after having them removed. If you can’t absorb the vitamins you may have to look into getting injections as I do. That way the vitamins are not dependant upon your digestive system.

    From Healthy Tongue Secrets -BMS and Dry Mouth (p.82)
    Burning Mouth Syndrome (BMS) is often accompanied by dry mouth and/or a bitter or metallic taste in the mouth. In some cases, this condition may be associated with Vitamin B12 deficiency, oral yeast infection (Candida Albicans), or even irritation from dentures.
    Some other Causes are:
    • Endocrine disturbances
    • Vitamin deficiency
    • Medications (side effects)
    • Diabetes mellitus
    • Erosive Candida infections

    (P.93) A coated tongue is common in people with dry mouth as well as people who are under stress. Also people with dry mouth are often more likely to have cavities than other people. A white-coated tongue is often believed to indicate intestinal putrification caused by a lack of sufficient fiber in the diet or because of intestinal impaction caused by improper emptying of the colon.

    Also read the section called Dry Mouth, Hairy Tongue and Burning Mouth Syndrome on page 10 of the bonus called “Mouth Problems.pdf” This deals with this issue in depth.

    I have found Therabreath Oral Rinse to be very helpful for dry mouth and also combined with Therabreath toothpaste to be soothing for mouth pain . See here:

    Finally, excessive thirst and dry mouth can be related to diabetes or Sjogren’s Syndrome so you might want to have your doctor check on that.

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