How to Avoid Dry Mouth and Its Effects

How to Avoid Dry Mouth and Its Effects
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[Credit] Damir Spanic | Unsplash

The salivary glands of the mouth help keep the mouth moist. Because of the saliva, it becomes easier to taste, swallow, speak, and digest food. However, there are also instances when it feels like there is not enough saliva in the mouth. This condition, known as a xerostomia or dry mouth, can happen to anyone especially during stressful times. But, to some people, the dry mouth can persist which can be uncomfortable and lead to other serious health problems.

Dry Mouth Symptoms

[Caption] Sore throat or hoarseness is often accompanied by a dry mouth [Credit] nastya_gepp | Pixabay

A dry mouth happens when you are not producing enough saliva. You may notice some of these signs for days:

  • Dryness of the mouth
  • Thick and stringy saliva
  • Foul mouth odour
  • Difficulty in speaking, swallowing, and chewing
  • Sore throat or hoarseness
  • Dry tongue
  • Lack or changed sense of taste
  • Chapped lips
  • Ulcers

Causes

There are several causes that lead to dry mouth. Patients who undergo radiation therapy and chemotherapy can experience dry mouth because of their medicines. This condition may also be an indication of other serious health problems like salivary gland diseases, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, and Sjogren’s syndrome.

How to Manage Dry Mouth

[Caption] Avoiding alcoholic and sugary drinks can help ease the symptoms of dry mouth
[Credit] Markus Spiske

Having dry mouth can be very annoying considering that it can affect the way you speak, eat, and swallow. If the problem persists, it can be an indication of a serious ailment that demands the help of doctors.

If you believe that the dry mouth is caused by medication that you are taking, inform your doctor. Sometimes, your doctor would recommend switching to a different drug that will not cause your mouth to dry.

To also help alleviate the symptoms, doctors may prescribe patients to use an oral rinse that can help in restoring mouth moisture. Saliva production can also be increased by taking Salagen.

To manage dry mouth symptoms at home you can do these simple steps:

  • Keep Hydrated

Water is always the best way to keep your mouth hydrated. The golden rule is to drink eight or more glasses of water a day. Experts also recommend drinking water even before you feel thirsty or parched.

  • Avoid Alcohol and Sugary Drinks

While taking in liquids would be of great help, you should reconsider those sugary drinks and alcohol you kept on stock. Too much sugar can cause the mouth to feel dry. If you are a diabetes patient, cutting these off would not only help your mouth to produce more saliva but also in the management of your sugar levels, too.

  • Suck on Sugar-free Candy or Gum

Xylitol in your favourite candy and gum can help you produce more saliva. Be wary of consuming acidic ones to avoid softening your tooth enamel.

  • Watch Your Oral Hygiene

Dry mouth could also be due to the lack of proper oral hygiene. Observing proper oral health habits like brushing with fluoride toothpaste, rinsing with alcohol-free mouthwash, and visiting your dentist regularly are just a few things that can help keep your mouth healthy.

Dry mouth can be uncomfortable and can be a symptom of a bigger problem so you should not brush it off. If you have to deal with this problem now, just follow the simple steps to manage it. If the symptoms still persist, you can also check with your doctor to address it properly