Constant thirst. Bad breath. Mouth sores. A burning, tingling sensation in your mouth.
Any of these symptoms sound familiar? These are all signs that you have dry mouth, also known as xerostomia.
So what exactly causes all these uncomfortable symptoms? It’s all because your mouth isn’t making enough saliva. And you need saliva to cleanse your mouth and digest the food you eat, so not only does reduced saliva production make your mouth dry and uncomfortable, it also increases your chances of developing gum disease, mouth infections and tooth decay.
As uncomfortable as dry mouth is, it is fairly easy to treat. If you think you have dry mouth, talk to your dentist and try to determine the cause. Here are eight ways to treat dry mouth and eliminate the discomfort it brings.
1. Look at the medications you’re taking. Dry mouth is often listed as a medication side effect, for both prescription and nonprescription drugs that treat a variety of issues from depression to allergies. Talk to your doctor about any medications you’re taking, and find out if they might be the cause. He or she may be able to change your dose or find another medication that doesn’t cause dry mouth.
2. Talk to your dentist. If you have dry mouth symptoms, talk to your dentist about what you’re experiencing. He or she will likely prescribe an oral rinse that’s designed to restore your mouth moisture. If the rinse doesn’t work, your dentist might have you try a prescription medication. This medication should help you increase saliva production and alleviate your symptoms.
It’s also important to visit your dentist regularly. Talking with your dentist about dry mouth, or any dental problems for that matter, will help lead to a solution. Don’t put off visiting your dental clinic in the hope your symptoms will just magically go away. Dentists know the causes and best treatments for dry mouth, and can help you find relief.
3. Drink lots of water. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day will help keep your mouth moist and alleviate symptoms.
4. Try adding sugar-free candy to your diet. Sucking on sugar-free candy will help improve saliva flow. Chewing sugar-free gum can also help.
5. Breathe through your nose. Breathing through your mouth can actually make dry mouth worse. Focus on breathing through your nose as much as possible instead.
6. Use a room vaporizer. Putting a room vaporizer in your bedroom will add moisture to the air, and that will help conquer dry mouth.
7. Add fluoride. When you brush, make sure you use fluoride toothpaste. It’s also a good idea to use a fluoride rinse.
8. Find a saliva substitute. You can also use an over-the-counter saliva substitute to treat dry mouth. You might want to ask your dentist from recommendations.
If you have dry mouth, you know how uncomfortable the symptoms can be. And whether it’s medication you’re taking, a medical condition you’ve been diagnosed with, a recent medical treatment you’ve completed or a host of other potential factors causing dry mouth, your dentist can help you find a way to eliminate it.
Do you have any tips for eliminating dry mouth? Leave them in the comments below….