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How to Overcome Dry Mouth

Posted on 4/20/2015 by Zac Bird

A woman with dry mouth yawing.Dry mouth, Xerostomia being the medical term, occurs when the mouth does not produce enough saliva. The saliva moistens the mouth cleaning it out and helping with the digestion of food.

When there is not enough saliva produced the mouth becomes dry and bacteria can build up causing bad breath to occur. There are several causes of dry mouth, including side effects of medication or treatments, dehydrations, nerve damage, and the type of lifestyle that one has chosen.

Overcoming dry mouth can be as easy as helping your glands produce more saliva. There are several ways to do this.

•  Look for Sugar Free Gum and Candies. Sucking on candy or chewing gum that is sugar free can help to improve the flow of saliva in your mouth. Some of the ingredients, such as Xylitol, which is found in sugar free chewing gum and candy, can cause cramping in the stomach region and diarrhea when large amounts are being consumed.

•  Sip on Water. Staying hydrated and drinking water can work as your saliva and moisten your mouth. It can also have other benefits to your body.

•  Limit your body's intake of caffeine. Caffeine, found in sodas and coffee, can cause your mouth to become dry.

•  Limit your body's intake of alcohol and products that contain alcohol. Products such as liquor, beer, wine, malt beverages, and even mouthwash can contain alcohol. These things can cause your mouth to dry out.

•  Try to quit using tobacco products. When you inhale and exhale you are moving air in and out of your mouth which dries it out. Tobacco products also have a negative impact on your lungs and can cause a severe cough. This cough can be a reason behind dry mouth as well.

•  Change up how you breathe. When you have a cold and can't breathe through your nose, your mouth will become dry from the intake and exhale of air. Since breathing through your mouth can cause dry mouth, instead try breathing through the nose.

•  Make Use of Vaporizers, or Humidifiers. Add vaporizers or humidifiers to your home or office to help keep moisture in the air around you.

•  Use Fluoride Products. Brush your teeth with toothpastes and rinse with mouthwash that has fluoride in them.

•  Use Saliva Substitutes. Substitute your saliva with an over the counter artificial substitute.

•  Purchase items that were specifically designed to combat dry mouth. Some products may not say it in bold letters, but any product such as certain mouthwashes, which contain Xylitol, can be beneficial for persistent dry mouth.

There are certain foods that you can eat, mostly ones that have a high volume of water that can help to salivate your mouth.

Prescription Drugs that May Help with Dry Mouth

Due to the large amount of dry mouth cases, medications have been manufactured to help cure and curve dry mouth. Two of the most common prescription drugs used to treat dry mouth are Cevimeline and Pilocarpine. These medications can only be prescribed by a doctor and all medications should be taken according to the instructions given.

Before taking any medication, it is best to consult a professional regarding the side effects of the medication that you would like to take. If you still experience dry mouth after attempting to overcome it with the above mentioned ways, it may be necessary to consult a professional. Chronic Bad Breath is considered a condition and can be caused by something internal or medication that you have been prescribed and are currently taking. Even if "bad breath" is not a side effect of your medication, it can still be the reason for it.

Have more questions about dry mouth? Call us today for more information.

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Bird Family Dentistry
4707 S Junett St
Tacoma, WA 98409
(253) 777-0252

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