Family Dentistry of Schenectady
Saliva is important in moistening and cleaning our mouths, as well as digesting food. It also helps us avoid infection by regulating the presence of fungi and bacteria in the mouth. Unfortunately, some people don’t make an adequate amount of saliva, leading to a dry mouth or a state called xerostomia.
Around 10% of all people have dry mouth. This condition is more prevalent among women than men. Saliva production problems also affect the elderly group, as well as the people taking too much prescription and nonprescription medications.
The good news is you have a whole list of ways to avoid xerostomia. To minimize the occurrence of dry mouth, follow the tips below:
· Drink a lot of water to keep the moisture in the mouth and loosen the mucus.
· Chew some sugarless gum or suck some sugar-free candies, ice chips, or popsicles. The act of chewing and sucking can stimulate the flow of saliva.
· Eat foods that are soft and moist. Eat with soups, broths, sauces, creams, gravy, or even butter or margarine.
· Don’t use mouthwashes that have peroxide or alcohol. These substances tend to dry the mouth.
· Skip the dry, sugary, and salty foods, like toast, crackers, dried fruit, etc.
· Don’t take too much caffeine or alcohol. Minimize the consumption of tea, coffee, cola, and even chocolatey drinks. Alcohol and caffeine are the key components that trigger a dry mouth. Avoid the acidic drinks too, such as certain fruit juices (tomato, apple, orange, grape juice among others).
Other tips to minimize irritation due to dry mouth:
- Lessen the consumption of salty and spicy foods as these may stimulate pain for people with dry mouth
- Avoid smoking. It’s one of the top causes of dry mouth.
- Use a moisturizer on your lips to alleviate irritation.
- Don’t use hard-bristled toothbrush and brush with a toothpaste containing fluoride.
- Use a humidifier to boost the humidity inside the house, especially at night.