Tips for dealing with dry mouth | Illuminada Dental, dentistry on Jasper Ave, Edmonton

Xerostomia, or “dry mouth,” affects a large number of the patients we see. Thankfully, there are many effective remedies that can provide relief from the unpleasant feelings of dry mouth. Read on to learn more about the symptoms, causes and treatments of dry mouth.

Symptoms

Cracked or splitting lips, tongue “sticking” to roof of mouth and inside of cheeks, frequent thirst, cracking at corners of mouth and rough, scaly or peeling skin inside of the mouth.

Causes

  • Many medications can cause dry mouth. Speak with your doctor if you are on a medication which could be contributing to symptoms of dry mouth.
  • Caffeine and alcohol. Both of these substances, while widely used, have a diuretic effect, which can worsen dry mouth.
  • Medical conditions such as sjogren’s syndrome, diabetes, HIV and many others.
  • Mouth breathing, either at night or during the day.
  • Dry indoor air

Treatment

Since the causes of dry mouth are multifactorial, there is no one-size-fits all cure. Limiting caffeine and alcohol consumption is recommended. If you suspect that medications may be causing your dry mouth, speak to your doctor about what can be done to alleviate this side effect.  Remembering to breath through your nose as often as possible will help as well. Using a humidifier at home or in your bedroom can add moisture to the air- this will be especially useful if you tend to breath through your mouth at night.  Carrying a water bottle with you and taking frequent sips of water during the day will also help to alleviate the feeling of dryness. Chewing sugar free gum and dissolving lozenges in your mouth will stimulate saliva production as well.

There are products available that can provide some relief from dry mouth. Biotene carries a line of products aimed at combatting dry mouth.  Mouth sprays and gels provide immediate relief, while toothpastes and mouthwashes contain an alcohol-free formula which cleanses without a drying effect on the mouth.

Since saliva provides a natural defence against cavities, patients with dry mouth are at a greater risk for tooth decay.  Special care should be taken by patients who suffer from dry mouth to maintain regular dental appointments for preventative cleanings and checkups. If you suffer from dry mouth, contact us to request an appointment to talk about what can be done to alleviate your symptoms.