Dry Mouth How To Treat?
What is dry mouth?
Your mouth always feels sticky, ropey, and even burns, especially when you wake up in the morning. It gets in the way of going about your day always feeling uncomfortable, causing difficulty with eating and or speaking and the constant unpleasant taste is becoming cumbersome. It’s a constant struggle and you are not alone.
According to the American Dental Association Dry Mouth (Xerostomia) is actually a subjective description which describes varying degrees of salivary flow.
Millions of people around the world suffer from dry mouth. In fact, studies show that 0.9-64% of patients report having dry mouth. It can be caused by many factors
- Medical conditions
- Toxicity of radiation/chemo therapy
- Lifestyle and diet
- CPAP Machine use
- Mouth breathing
Speak to your doctor about what could be causing your dry mouth and treat/manage any possible underlying medical conditions.
Let’s jump over to the 7 Dry Mouth remedies:
Your body needs water to produce saliva.
Hydration is not just casual sipping on water whenever we experience dry mouth or thirst. Proper hydration is a calculated intention to make sure we provide our bodies with the water that it needs to function properly.
If our body does not have enough water it will not produce much saliva. In fact, 75% of the population is dehydrated.
Here are some guidelines for preventing dehydration.
- Drink 2-4 liters per day on average
- Add water to your diet,
- Carry water with you at all times for easy access and make sure to.
- Replace caloric and diet beverages (including sugar-sweetened sodas, teas, coffees, juices, milk) with water.
- Consider using humidifier.
- Action of Chewing / Sucking
This action stimulates saliva flow. Two products you can use include:
- Sugar-free gum
- Sugar-free lozenges
- Over the counter Dry Mouth products
These products are specifically designed for dry mouth. One or combination of few may work differently for everyone. Its about trying what works for you. They include:
- Mouth spray
- Mouth gel
- Oral adhesive discs
- Prescription medications
Both are cholinergic, parasympathetic agonists in the form of tablets taken by mouth. They induce saliva production by the salivary glands. Although some side effects include excessive sweating and frequent urination, after longer use they get better.
This part is so important and too often overlooked. What we eat not only directly comes into contact with our oral cavity but also has a direct effect on the health and functioning of our body in general. Acidic, spicy, sticky foods will directly dry/irritate the mouth. If we have a highly inflammatory diet, salivary glands, as well as other organs become affected and do not function as efficiently. Here are some foods to avoid:
- Sweet/carbonated drinks
- Saturated (bad) fats.
- Inflammatory foods such as dairy, processed, preserved
- Alkaline diet rich in leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale etc. to help neutralize acidic conditions in the mouth and to serve as a source of necessary vitamins and minerals.
- Fruits rich in antioxidants such as all types of berries, pomegranate etc. will also provide the necessary vitamins and minerals to help maintain a healthy oral environment. Additionally fruits can serve as sugar alternatives in smoothies, shakes etc. or be excellent for desert
All of the named below contribute to Dry Mouth a well as other health effects. Reduce, preferably eliminate them from your life:
- Recreational drugs
- Mouth breathing
Speak to your doctor about why you breathe through your mouth. It can be caused by many factors including nasal congestion due to allergies or sinus infection, deviated septum, nasal polyps, shape and size of the nose and jaw, enlarged tonsils and or adenoids, stress etc.
Some treatment options include:
- Nasal decongestants, antihistamines, nasal sprays.
- Keeping your house clean of allergens, install air filters.
- Adhesive nasal strips to dilate nostrils and
- Meditation to help relieve stress and anxiety.
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Dr. Anna Glinianska
Dentist - Endodontist
President of Smile Genius