It’s easy to take saliva and oral moisture for granted – until you experience xerostomia or dry mouth. While everyone has a dry mouth on occasion, when it doesn’t go away it can become a big oral health concern. Xerostomia, or dry mouth, can have a serious impact on your overall health.
Dry mouth can be caused by tobacco use, medications, cancer treatments, age, not drinking enough water, and your genes. Dry mouth is uncomfortable. But it can also be costly. Because moisture keeps gingival tissue healthy, a moisturized mouth means healthier gums and healthier teeth. Dry mouth when not treated can lead to gum recession, tooth decay and tooth loss.
The best way to get long-term relief is treating the cause. Here are some strategies to treat and manage dry mouth:
- Drink water. Ensuring that you stay hydrated during the day is essential - both for helping cope with dry mouth and for your overall health. Make sure you drink water or sugarless drinks throughout the day and during your meals. Avoid drinks with caffeine, such as coffee or tea, and sugary drinks or sodas.
- Stimulate saliva. Sugarless gum or hard candies can be a good way to help stimulate saliva. Cinnamon, citrus or mint-flavored candies are excellent choices.
- Reduce alcohol and tobacco use. These substances dry out the mouth.
- Avoid sugar. Avoid sugary and acidic foods; dishes that are spicy or salty can irritate and cause pain in a dry mouth.
- Use a humidifier. Adding moisture into the air you’re breathing helps cut down on xerostomia symptoms and make breathing more comfortable. Add them to the rooms you spend the most time in, such as your workspace and bedroom!
- Use a therapeutic mouthrinse. Nicorinse was formulated with two humectants, making it a fantastic moisturizing rinse; using it throughout the day can provide relief from dry mouth.
If you are experiencing dry mouth, especially for an extended period of time, be sure to discuss with your doctor and get a thorough medical examination. Dry mouth might begin as a minor concern and end in a much bigger health problem if left untreated. Dry mouth can also be a sign of more serious underlying health issues. If you have extreme dry mouth or chronic dry mouth try some of these simple remedies and see your family physician.