Do You Have Dry Mouth?

by: Sandy Johnson, RDH

Dry mouth, also known as Xerostomia in the medical world, can be the result of any number of factors, including but not limited to dehydration, medication side effects, symptom of a medical condition, nerve damage and lifestyle choices like smoking.
Symptoms of dry mouth may include trouble swallowing, cracked lips, sores inside the mouth, bad breath and thirst.

Resolving the uncomfortable feeling of dry mouth may depend on the severity and source of the issue. However, there are a handful of home remedies that can help alleviate the problem. Stimulating saliva production is one technique and can be achieved by drinking lots of water, chewing sugar-free gum, sucking on sugar-free hard candies or even using a saliva substitute (can be purchased over the counter). Caffeine contributes to mouth dryness, so try to limit your intake. Avoid mouthwashes containing alcohol, as that ingredient can make your mouth drier.

Other tricks to help you deal with dry mouth include: breathing through your nose, using a humidifier at home, eliminating any use of tobacco and avoiding salty foods and soda pop. The final piece of advice is, of course, to make regular visits to the dentist to monitor the issue should it progress and worsen.

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