If You Suffer From a Dry Mouth, Here Are 7 Things To Help You
When it comes to good oral health, saliva is a key component in that it works to keep our mouths clean and free of bacteria. That said, there are instances when the production of saliva is interrupted and causes a condition known as xerostomia, dry mouth. Xerostomia can cause a number of oral health problems including halitosis and dental caries. Fortunately, there are a variety of things that we can do to stimulate saliva production and safeguard our oral health. It should be noted that lifestyle and certain medications can cause dry mouth. As such, this article will focus on some of the main contributors to dry mouth and how to avoid them.
THE ETIOLOGY OF A DRY MOUTH
While the signs of a dry mouth are unmistakable, what causes the condition can vary. Several studies have shown that more than 400 prescription medications can lead to xerostomia, the majority being antidepressants and pain medication. Beyond that, stress, dehydration, and nerve damage are also notable factors. Although having a dry mouth is an unpleasant experience, it can also lead to fungal infections, difficulty breathing, swallowing, and thrush.
WHY YOU SHOULD DRINK MORE WATER
The first step in resolving a dry mouth is to drink plenty of water as this will rehydrate the body and also add moisture to the oral cavity. In addition, drinking water will help temporarily wash away food and bacteria until the body can begin producing saliva again.
HOW TO AVOID A DRY MOUTH
While drinking water is a great way to treat xerostomia, there are several ways to avoid this unpleasant experience in the first place including:
- Avoiding caffeinated drinks – Although they seem refreshing initially, certain caffeinated drinks like soda and coffee, for example, can contribute to a dry mouth. If you weren't already aware, these drinks contain diuretics that are designed to remove fluids from the body.
- Avoiding tobacco – Whether it is chewing tobacco or cigarettes, either of these two products can quickly lead to xerostomia as the tar in tobacco products can adversely affect how salivary glands function.
HOW TO RELIEVE A DRY MOUTH
Along with drinking plenty of water, there are a few more things that you can do to moisten your mouth including:
- Sugar-free candy – Sucking on sugar-free candy can provide temporary relief from xerostomia by stimulating the salivary glands.
- Sour foods – Although it may sound counterintuitive, sour foods like lemons, for example, can be a great way to remediate a dry mouth. It should be noted, however, that lemons and similar fruits can be very acidic. As such, the juice extracted from these fruits should be diluted with water as it will aid in the prevention of cavities.
PROTECTING YOUR LIPS AND GOOD ORAL HYGIENE
Not surprisingly, a dry mouth can also contribute to dry lips; one of the best ways to keep your lips moisturized is by using hydrating lip balms. These products are designed to seal in moisture while protecting lips from blistering and cracking. In protecting your overall oral health, it is always a good idea to practice good oral hygiene. This means making it a point to brush and floss daily. Also, consider using an alcohol-free mouth rinse, which can further eliminate bacteria while also keeping your mouth feeling fresh all day.
Are you suffering from a dry mouth? If so, let us know if this article was useful to you and if you're going to try out any of these methods. Be sure to pass on this article to your friends and loved ones - oral hygiene is essential!
Our content is created to the best of our knowledge, yet it is of general nature and cannot in any way substitute an individual consultation by your doctor. Your health is important to us!