19 Mouthwatering Solutions For Dry Mouth
For some people, the sensation of having a dry mouth is simply an infrequent nuisance whereas for some others it is quite a serious problem. Mouth dryness which is medically known as xerostomia can be really debilitating. If left untreated it can even lead to mouth sores, tooth decay and other oral health problems. Your mouth needs additional saliva in order to coat and lubricate oral tissues, which in turn helps to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
Dry mouth is very common to the majority of people including older adults whose mouth naturally dry out over time as well as people who have diabetes, anxiety disorder or an autoimmune disease which is known as Sjogren’s syndrome in which a dry mouth occurs in association with dry eyes and other symptoms. In cancer patients, dry mouth often results due to chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
Most often though, mouth dryness is a side-effect of prescription drugs or over-the-counter medication. Some of the common culprits include blood pressure tablets (enalapril or captopril), antihistamines (such as cyclizine), antidepressants (such as amitriptyline or fluoxetine), codeine or morphine-containing analgesics and decongestants (such as pseudoephedrine hydrochloride).
As the population ages and the prescription drugs become more common, dry mouth is becoming more widespread. Here are certain suggestions to help to relieve the dryness, protect soft tissue and prevent the tooth decay which results from having a dry mouth: –
1. Chew sugarless gum: –
Chewing helps in stimulating the salivary glands. Try sugarless gum which contains xylitol, a sweetening agent that reduces cavity-causing bacteria.
2. Sip water regularly: –
Take frequent water sips throughout the day. Swirl it around it in your mouth and through your teeth to combat the dry feeling.
Drink at least 250ml glasses of water each day. The more active you are the more quantity of water you need. If you used to work out in the gym take a water bottle with you. If you have an all-day meeting make sure that there are jugs of water on the table.
3. Suck on some ice: –
Ice chips are also another source of water, but try to suck on the ice don’t chew it as chewing can damage your teeth.
4. Rinse away the pain: –
Chronic dryness will make your mouth more easily irritated and sore because one of the main jobs of saliva is to neutralize the erosive acids from plaque. Rinse your mouth with a cupful of warm water into which you have mixed 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. This soothing combination neutralizes acids and draws out infection from gum tissues.
5. Suck sugar-free boiled sweets: –
Sucking hard sweets stimulates the saliva flow.
6. Crunch crudites: –
Diet which is high in fiber and bulk helps in stimulating salivary glands. Eating fibrous foods such as raw carrot, celery or apples at mealtimes and as snacks. These rough-textured foods also clean your tongue as you chew and swallow which is good for overall oral hygiene.
7. Say no to sweets: –
Limit your intake of sweet, sticky, sugary foods if you are experiencing a dry mouth. Your lack of saliva will keep these foods stuck to your teeth which increases your risk of cavities.
8. Quench your thirst wisely: –
Alcohol and caffeine-containing drinks can make a dry mouth, even more, worse and whereas sugary drinks will further damage teeth in a mouth that is often dry. So stick to water, sugar-free or milky drinks, or fruit juices that are not too acidic like apple or pear juice. Lukewarm drinks are more effective than hot or cold drinks for quenching thirst and you should even avoid hot drinks if your mouth is sore.
9. Control your bad habits: –
Tobacco will make a dry mouth worse along with many recreational drugs like cannabis, ecstasy, cocaine, amphetamines and opiates.
10. Avoid irritants: –
Spicy or salty foods may cause pain in the dry mouth along with orange juice because of its high acid content.
11. Choose a high fluoride toothpaste: –
When saliva production is low, your risk of cavities and gum disease is high. So choose a fluoride toothpaste to apply it on your teeth for one minute then swish for one minute to force the paste to cover all your teeth and gums. Spit out the excess toothpaste but don’t rinse your mouth and go to bed with the fluoride residue on these surfaces. Repeat this in the morning itself and don’t eat or drink anything for 30 minutes.
12. Watch out for foaming agent: –
If you have mouth dryness, avoid toothpaste that contains the foaming agent sodium lauryl sulfate because it can irritate gum tissue. Generally, all brands contain this ingredient but health food stores see various toothpaste without it. You can even take advise from these health food stores.
13. Use a mouthwash: –
Try to use an antibacterial mouthwash such as corsodyl or chlorohex that doesn’t contain alcohol or sugar. As we all know that alcohol further dries out your mouth and can even irritate already sensitive gum tissues, while sugar causes tooth decay and cavities, which you are more prone if you have mouth dryness.
14. Change your toothbrush frequently: –
At the time your toothbrush has a build-up of toothpaste in between the bristles, so it is the time to buy a new one. As your old toothbrush harbor bacteria and can even infect your mouth with bacteria that cause bad breath. You should try to replace your toothbrush every 3 months.
15. Brush every time you eat: –
One of the main roles of saliva is to remove the bacteria from the mouth. So if you lack the normal amount of saliva, food particles can hang around for longer in your mouth and can even cause bad breath. So try to brush your teeth after every meal, morsel or midnight snack.
16. Soak your dentures: –
Dentures make people with dry mouth which more susceptible to infection from yeast organism, which adheres to the plastic. Soak your dentures overnight in a denture-soaking solution such as Steradent to prevent infection. Before putting them in rinse your dentures properly.
17. Moisturize the air: –
Use a humidifier in your bedroom to get some moisture into the air which helps to cut down the mouth dryness at night. If you breathe from your mouth so now start to breathe from your nose at night to prevent saliva from evaporating while you sleep.