Do you suffer from dry mouth? This common problem has many possible causes, from medication side effects to salivary gland conditions. You can help to manage the symptoms by sipping water, avoiding caffeine, and chewing on sugarless gum. Obtaining long-term relief may require a visit to your dentist in Zionsville.
Five Common Symptoms of Dry Mouth
Dry mouth is usually accompanied by one or more of the following problems:
- A sticky, parched sensation in the mouth and throat. Some patients describe this as a “cottony” feeling.
- Difficulty speaking or swallowing food.
- A dry, raspy-sounding cough.
- Chapped or cracked lips.
- Sores or tender spots in the mouth or on the lips.
Make an appointment to see your dentist if you notice any of these warning signs. Potential causes of the problem include side effects of certain medications, such as antidepressants or high blood pressure pills; diseases such as type II diabetes; nerve problems due to head or neck injury; and side effects of chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
How to Cope with Dry Mouth until You Can Get Help
Treating dry mouth successfully requires knowing what’s causing the problem in the first place. That in turn takes a formal diagnosis from a Zionsville dentist or other healthcare professional. Here are some ways to minimize your discomfort until you can get help:
- Keep a glass of water or other non-caffeinated beverage handy and sip on it throughout the day. Avoid using soda or alcoholic beverages for this purpose, as they can sometimes worsen dry mouth symptoms.
- Use a humidifier. Sometimes dry mouth is a result of dry air. This is especially likely during the winter, when hot, dry air circulates throughout homes and workplaces.
- Use sugarless gums or mints. Try to keep these in your mouth for as long as possible instead of popping one after the other.
- Sometimes dry mouth is caused by emotional tension or unease.
Keeping Your Mouth Healthy Even When It’s Dry
Maintaining your oral health is important at all times, even when you’re struggling with dry mouth. Here are some important steps that all of us should take:
- Brush your teeth 2-3 times a day using a soft bristle toothbrush and a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Look for products with the ADA seal of acceptance on the packaging.
- Floss at least once per day. Flossing removes food particles and other potential sources of plaque and tartar.
- Stay away from all forms of tobacco and vaping products. Both can curtail saliva production, causing dry mouth and putting you at risk for cavities and other oral health conditions.
Dealing with dry mouth is something that most of us will face from time to time. The tips in this post can help you to manage the problem until you get professional care. Following your dentist’s advice is a great way to lay the foundation for a happy and healthy 2019. We wish you and yours lots of happy smiles in the days and years to come.
About the Author
at their Dr. Angelo M. Julovich grew up in Merrillville and is proud to call Indiana his home state. Dr. Julovich earned his DDS degree from the University of Indiana School of Dentistry. You can reach his office online or by calling (317) 769-3335.