What is Dry Mouth?
Dry mouth refers to a condition in which the salivary glands in your mouth do not produce enough saliva to keep your mouth wet or moistened. Decreased saliva and dry mouth can range from being simply a nuisance to something that can have a major impact on your general health and the health of your teeth and gums, as well as your appetite and the enjoyment of food.
Symptoms of Dry Mouth:
If you’re not producing enough saliva, you may notice some of these signs and symptoms of dry mouth regularly:
- Dryness or a feeling of stickiness in your mouth
- Saliva that seems thick and stringy
- Difficulty chewing, speaking and swallowing
- Dry or sore throat and hoarseness
- Dry or grooved tongue
- A changed sense of taste
- Problems wearing dentures
If you currently suffer from dry mouth it is suggested to do more than just sip water regularly. Dry mouth can lead to other oral health issues that you may not be aware of such as:
- Ongoing bad breath
- Mouth infections
When your mouth is not moist enough, bacteria and food can stick to your teeth causing a buildup of plaque. This increases your chances for gum disease and other oral problems like the ones listed above.
Here are 15 recommendations in order to alleviate the symptoms and struggles of dry mouth:
- Chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free hard candies sweetened with xylitol. This helps stimulate saliva flow. Citrus, cinnamon or mint-flavored candies are good choices.
- Limit your caffeine intake. Avoid drinks with caffeine, such as coffee, tea, and some sodas.
- Don’t use mouthwashes that contain alcohol. Mouthwashes that contain alcohol often dry out the mouth.
- Stop all tobacco use. Smoking or chewing tobacco can increase the symptoms of dry mouth. Learn more about how quitting smoking can improve your oral health.
- Sip water. It is suggested to drink cold, preferably sugarless drinks regularly throughout the day.
- Use saliva substitutes to moisten your mouth— look for products containing xylitol, such as RAIN.
- Avoid using over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants. If your dry mouth is the result of certain medication, your doctor might change your prescription or your dosage. Often medication can result in making your symptoms worse.
- Breathe through your nose, not your mouth.
- Add moisture to the air at night. Running a humidifier in your bedroom can add moisture to the air at night. A humidifier in your home can also help keep the air from being dry, which helps to eliminate the dryness in your mouth when you breathe in.
- Avoid sugary or acidic foods and candies. Foods with high sugar content or are acidic increases the risk of tooth decay. It also helps stimulate saliva flow citrus. Cinnamon or mint-flavored candies are good choices.
- Minimize spicy foods or salty foods that burn the mouth. This can lead to pain in your mouth if you are suffering from dry mouth.
- Moisten dry foods with broth, sauces, butter, or milk. This will help soften hard food or moisten food that dries out the mouth.
- Brush with a therapeutic toothpaste that will re-mineralize. A recommended suggestion would be: X-pur.
- Use a fluoride rinse. Use a fluoride rinse rather than an alcohol-based mouthwash, which can dry out your mouth and tongue further.
- Visit your dentist at suggested interval. With an early diagnosis and treatment, you can avoid some of dry mouths damaging effects.
Dry mouth can leave your mouth feeling dry and irritated. Don’t continue to suffer with all of the measures you can take to alleviate the symptoms. If you are experiencing dry mouth or any other complications, see your dental professional at Smile Dental Centre for your regular checkup or to monitor ongoing oral problems. Contact us or book an appointment today!
The Smile Dental Centre offers a full range of dental services backed by outstanding patient care for children and adults. The Smile Dental Centre won the Consumer Choice Award five years in a row (2013 – 2017) for general and cosmetic dentistry in the London, ON region. Now that’s something to smile about!