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Sunday, May 31, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Tic Tacs not advised for treating dry mouth

By Peter H. Gott, M.D.

DEAR DR. GOTT: My husband and I have read many times about people suffering from dry mouth. We, too, have this problem, which we think is caused by some of the medications we take.

Somewhere, I read that Tic Tacs are good for this problem, so when I go to bed at night, I place one between my lower gum and cheek. It slowly dissolves during the night and keeps the saliva glands excreting fluid.

DEAR READER: I am glad that you have had success with this treatment, but I am not willing to recommend it. Tic Tacs are a candy with high sugar content. By repeatedly placing the sugar in contact with your teeth, you are risking cavities.

I suggest you discontinue the practice and consult your physician or a dentist about more appropriate options to relieve your dry mouth. This may involve a review and change of your current medications both over-the-counter or prescription, toothpastes, mouthwashes or artificial saliva ointments or sprays.

DEAR DR. GOTT: I eat a fairly healthful diet. I’m in pretty darned good shape for an 89-year-old lady but have to admit to having a conversation with myself that goes like this: “For heaven’s sake, go ahead and indulge, you could make your grand exit anytime.”

I am crazy about Doritos ranch-style chips, and I have them quite often with my before-dinner cocktail. I am easy on salt and never add it to my foods, not even corn on the cob. I know the chips are loaded with salt because I enjoy licking my fingers afterward.

Other than the salt, are Doritos that bad for me when they taste so good?

DEAR READER: You are correct that Doritos ranch-style chips carry a high concentration of salt (170 milligrams, 7 percent of the recommended daily intake, per serving) which can worsen heart failure and lead to high blood pressure.

If you eat modest portions of the chips, and don’t otherwise overindulge in other salty foods, there is likely no problem. The human body needs salt in order to function properly. We run into problems when too much is consumed.

If you are worried about your salt intake, speak with your primary-care physician. He or she can evaluate your diet to ensure that you are including necessary fruits, vegetables, grains and proteins, while not exceeding limits of others, such as sugars, fats and salt. You may also wish to consult with a certified nutritionist, who can help you set up a diet plan that can include some special treats without harm, such as your beloved Doritos.

One way to ensure that you do not overindulge is to purchase a large package that contains prepackaged individual servings. In this way, you open only a single serving at a time rather than sitting with a large bag and little way of knowing the amount you have consumed.

To provide related information, I am sending you a copy of my Health Report “Hypertension.” Other readers who would like a copy should send a self-addressed stamped No. 10 envelope and a check or money order for $2 to Newsletter, P.O. Box 167, Wickliffe, OH 44092. Be sure to mention the title.

Dr. Peter Gott is a retired physician and the author of the book “Dr. Gott’s No Flour, No Sugar Diet.” Readers may wright to Dr. Gott c/o United Media, 200 Madison Ave., 4th fl., New York, NY 10016.

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