Care and prevention for dry mouth

Dry mouth can make it difficult to talk, eat, swallow, taste food or wear dentures. In most instances, treatment at home can alleviate the symptoms. A persistent case can lead to mouth infections, dental cavities and gum disease.

What are the causes?

  • Dehydration
  • Breathing via the mouth
  • Anxiety or stress

    Dry mouth
    Frequent sips of fluids throughout the day specifically water.
  • Smoking
  • Functionality issues with the salivary glands
  • Aging
  • Medications such as diuretics, decongestants or antihistamines

Home treatment

Treatment at home can alleviate the symptoms of a dry mouth such as:

  • Frequent sips of fluids throughout the day specifically water.
  • Provide ice chips and sugar-free products such as hard candy, gum, soft drinks and frozen fruit juices. These can help keep the mouth moist without increasing the risk for tooth decay.
  • Tart foods and beverages should be consumed such as sugar-free sour candies, lemonade and dill pickles to stimulate the flow of saliva.
  • Increase intake of fluids to allow easier chewing and swallowing such as drinking water with meals.
  • Use over-the-counter saliva substitutes that can be purchased in pharmacies.

Prevention

Remember that dry mouth is common but can be prevented with the following:

  • Drink up to 2 liters of water in a day. This is equal to 8 250 ml glasses of water.
  • A humidifier should be used in the house especially in the bedroom.
  • Avoid breathing via the mouth.
  • Do not use medications that can cause a dry mouth such as antihistamines, diuretics and decongestants.
  • Avoid tobacco, alcohol and caffeinated beverages since they can increase dryness in the mouth.

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