Dry Mouth –What is it and What to do about it
If you suffer from dry mouth; fancy name xerostomia (zero-STO-me-ah), it is very unpleasant. Not only are you constantly licking your lips and looking for fluids, it makes your breath bad and is not good for your teeth, tongue or gums.
First you need to find out what is causing it. If it a medical condition or prescription drugs, you need to identify it. Talking with your doctor will be the first step. Possible medical conditions that could cause dry mouth, or decreased saliva are:
Blockages of the salivary ducts
Smoking and excessive caffeine intake
Once the cause has been determined, you will know if it is a temporary condition, can be improved or eliminated or if you must find ways to live with it. If it is medications, you and your doctor can try:
stopping the medication
reducing the dosage
changing to a different medication
If the dry mouth is something you may have permanently, then here are some suggestions:
add a saliva substitute that contains carboxymethycellulose or hydroxyethyl cellulose (biotene is an example of an over the counter product)
avoid tobacco, caffeine, sugary foods
hydrate with water regularly
suck on sugar free candy
chew sugar free gum
Saliva is important to oral health and the condition of your teeth. Not only does it keep your mouth comfortable and moist, it helps with chewing, tasting and swallowing food. Saliva helps fight germs, and contains proteins and minerals that protect tooth enamel from decay and avoid gum disease.