On a list of dental problems, dry mouth may not seem that serious. Sure, it’s uncomfortable but it’s not debilitating. While that’s true, it can cause much worse problems down the road. Saliva not only keeps your mouth moist, it fights cavities. So a shortage of it can lead to decay, and worse.
Saliva is also more important to your overall health than you may realize. It helps you digest your food. Occasional dry mouth may not be a problem. But it can cause:
- Bad breath that won’t go away
- Difficulty keeping dentures in your mouth
- Thrush or other infections in your mouth
- Cracked, dry lips
The good news is, often a few lifestyle changes are enough to defeat the condition. Read our blog for suggestions. Then if you’re still bothered by unpleasant symptoms, call North Oaks Dental at 248-712-1522. We’ll help you get dry mouth under control.
Increase Your Water Intake to Stop Dry Mouth
The most important thing to stop dry mouth is to drink more water. How much? We suggest shooting for two liters a day in the hot summer months, when you lose more moisture through perspiration. Here are some tips for increasing your intake:
- Have water with your meals. Save other liquids for a treat, but drink water with your meals. To fight dry mouth and perhaps lose some weight, drink a glass of water before you start eating. You’ll feel more full, so you won’t consume as many calories.
- Keep water within reach. Put containers of water in spots such as your car and next to your bed. That way, you can grab a drink of water without even thinking about it.
- Get water from fruits and veggies. You can get some of your water from food. Fresh fruits and vegetables can contribute a good chunk of your water intake. Good choices include foods that taste especially refreshing in summer, like melon and cucumber. Your overall health will benefit too, since they’re packed with vitamins and other nutrients.
- Dilute other drinks. Another way to bump up your water intake is to dilute other drinks like tea, soda, and lemonade.
6 Other Tips to Alleviate Dry Mouth Discomfort
If increasing your water intake isn’t enough to ease your dry mouth discomfort, try our other tips too:
- Check your pool. You may have noticed that chlorine dries out your hair and skin. It does the same thing to your mouth. Many people use too much chlorine in their pools. A Ph level of about 7.5 keeps water clean and won’t dry out your mouth.
- Cut out the caffeine. Since caffeine has a diuretic effect, you should lower your consumption of it. Choose caffeine-free versions of drinks like soda, tea, and coffee.
- Avoid alcohol mouthwashes. Look for mouthwashes that don’t contain alcohol, since alcohol dries out your mouth. An especially good option is a mouthwash that contains xylitol, a substance that increases saliva production.
- Check your medication. Some common medications affect the flow of saliva, including antihistamines and decongestants. We can review your medications with you. When possible, we can suggest products that don’t dry you out as much.
- Keep moisture in the air. Run a humidifier overnight. It will add moisture to the air while you sleep.
- Chew sugarless gum. Chewing sugarless gum encourages saliva production. Again, look for gum that contains xylitol. If you’re not a gum person, you can suck on mints or other hard candy.
For especially stubborn cases of dry mouth, our dentists can prescribe special mouth rinses or a prescription medication. We may also recommend fluoride trays to wear at night to keep your mouth cavity free.
If you’re bothered by dry mouth, call North Oaks Dental today at 248-712-1522.