Dry Mouth: Do’s and Don’ts

Dry mouth is an uncomfortable condition where the salivary glands in your mouth don’t make enough saliva. The condition is known medically as xerostomia – but the unpleasant symptoms rate far more than a “zero” in discomfort and nuisance.

There are many methods that you can try to alleviate dry mouth, but for a long-term solution you must address its cause.

Dry mouth can be caused by:

  • Side effects of certain medications
  • Aging
  • Radiation therapy for cancer
  • Nerve damage in the head or neck
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Tobacco and alcohol use
  • Recreational drug use

For oral health, it’s important to address dry mouth. Saliva helps to neutralize the damaging acids produced by bacteria and helps to prevent tooth decay. The enzymes in saliva aid in digestion and saliva itself makes it easier to chew and swallow.

Do’s for Dry Mouth

  • Do chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free hard candy. These will stimulate the flow of saliva.
  • Do sip water regularly to keep your mouth fresh.
  • Do ask us about over-the-counter substitutes.
  • Do try a mouthwash specially designed for dry mouth. It’s helpful if it contains xylitol and also offers protection against tooth decay.
  • Do breathe through your nose, not through your mouth.
  • Do add moisture to your nighttime environment with a room humidifier.

Don’ts for Dry Mouth

  • Avoid using over-the-counter decongestants and antihistamines that can aggravate your symptoms.
  • Don’t drink caffeine as it can dry out your mouth.
  • Stop smoking or other tobacco use.
  • Don’t use mouthwashes with alcohol as they can be drying.

Stay tuned to your dry mouth condition and if symptoms persist after trying these suggestions, come in to see us. We can help get at the root of the problem and also help ease your symptoms.

Let Us Know If You Have Questions on Any Aspect of Oral Health Care

Dr. Lorraine Burio of Candlewood Dental Care has been treating and educating patients for over twenty-five years. Our office serves the New Fairfield, New Milford, Danbury, and Sherman areas of CT and Pawling, Patterson and Putnam Lake of New York. You can call us at 203-746-1200 or make an appointment here.