How to Deal with A Dry Mouth: 7 Helpful Ideas
Having a dry mouth can be more serious than just a minor irritation. This condition, also known as xerostomia, can lead to speaking, swallowing, or tasting difficulties. Even worse, it can also contribute to oral health problems like cavities or gum disease. In this article, we’ll explore how to deal with a dry mouth.
Keep yourself hydrated
Treating a dry mouth is actually much easier than you might think. One of the easiest ways to do this is by staying hydrated. Drinking plenty of water helps with a dry mouth and other oral and overall health aspects.
Simply carry a water bottle with you, and always have it available to sip on during the day. Remember, you don’t need to be chugging large amounts of water, but regularly sipping through the day helps moisten your mouth, removes food particles from your teeth, and aids digestion.
Try sugar-free gum or candies
Stimulating saliva production is another way to tackle a dry mouth, and chewing sugar-free gum is a good place to start. Even sugar-free lollies can help stimulate saliva production, moistening your mouth in the process. If you’re going to use this option, make sure you always choose sugar-free, as this also reduces your risk of dental problems like cavities and tooth decay.
Avoid dryness-inducing habits
Unfortunately, many things you love may contribute to your dry mouth. Basically, anything that causes dehydration is also going to be bad for a dry mouth. So, caffeine and alcohol should be avoided or consumed in moderation.
Salty foods can also add to the dryness in your mouth, along with smoking. Quitting smoking is a great way to address this issue, and always be careful of other food and drinks you consume. Rather than coffee, herbal tea is a good alternative.
Eat moist and nutritious foods
It’s no surprise that diet influences your oral health. The good news is that plenty of foods are good for your health which are tasty and moist enough to help you combat the symptoms of a dry mouth. For example, fruits like watermelon and oranges or vegetables like cucumbers are excellent choices because they contain a lot of water. Soups and smoothies are also great options, but you should stay away from salty foods that cause dehydration.
Maintain good oral hygiene
When people think about oral hygiene, it’s common to go straight to brushing and flossing. By brushing your teeth two times a day with fluoride toothpaste, you protect yourself against a range of dental issues. The same goes for regular flossing to remove stubborn food particles between your teeth.
These actions are great for oral health and help alleviate dry mouth symptoms. Mouthwash is also a good option; however, looking for alcohol-free varieties is best. Alcohol causes dehydration, and therefore, some types of mouthwash containing alcohol can actually contribute to a dry mouth.
Consider over-the-counter remedies
If you’ve made a lot of changes to your lifestyle and eating habits but still experience a dry mouth, you may need an over-the-counter solution. Oral moisturisers such as sprays can help make your mouth feel less dry. There are a number of options to choose from at your local pharmacy, but like any medical remedy, you should always check with a health professional before using.
Speak to a healthcare professional
Finally, if nothing else works, it’s time to make an appointment with your dentist or healthcare professional. While a GP can be helpful, it makes more sense to visit a dentist because they can perform a full oral examination. There may be underlying dental issues contributing to your dry mouth, so it’s best to have this checked by a professional.