BMB Dental Clinic

Dry Mouth

August 21, 2021
Posted By: BMB Dental Clinic
dry mouth medicine in mona vale

What is dry mouth and what causes it?

Dry mouth is a daily problem that makes you feel uncomfortable while you swallow, eat or speak. It is a condition in which your saliva glands do not produce enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. It can happen as a side effect of taking some medications or can be a sign of diseases and conditions like diabetes or radiotherapy for cancer. Also it can happen just by aging. So make sure you tell your GP or dentist about dry mouth if it becomes a problem for you.

Do I have a dry mouth?

You may have a mild case of dry mouth if:

  • Food sticks to the roof of your mouth easily.
  • You’re accustomed to having a dry sensation in your mouth.
  • You drink lots of water to compensate for the mild dry feeling.

You may have a moderate case of dry mouth if:

  • You lick your lips a great deal.
  • Your mouth feels quite sticky and dry.
  • You tend to avoid certain foods which exacerbate your symptoms.
  • You have difficulty keeping dentures in place.
  • You drink lots of water to compensate.
  • You suck sweets or continually apply lip balm as your mouth feels dry.

You may have a severe case of dry mouth if:

  • You experience a sore, burning mouth or tongue when eating.
  • You get frequent cracked lips, blisters and mouth ulcers.
  • Your condition is having a negative impact on your quality of life.
  • Your dentist has noticed frequent decay, a heavy build up of plaque, food debris and fungal infections.
  • Your tongue looks pebbled and your tongue and cheeks are red and shiny.

What are the symptoms of dry mouth?

For sufferers with a mild condition, it may be hard to detect dry mouth.In fact, most sufferers don’t notice they have dry mouth until their saliva flow has dropped by fifty per cent.

The symptoms of dry mouth can include:

  • A sore mouth
  • Overall stickiness to the touch
  • Cracking at the corners of the mouth
  • Dry, cracked and painful lips
  • A red and parched appearance
  • A pebbled look on the tongue
  • Difficulty eating spicy or dry foods
  • Food not tasting the way it used to
  • Difficulty speaking
  • A tendency to wake up more often during the night
  • Bad breath
  • Discomfort wearing dentures
  • Feeling thirsty, especially at night

If you suffer from any of above symptoms, talk to your Doctor or visit your dentist for information about dry mouth and oral health.

What can I do to manage my dry mouth?

Keep your mouth moist

  • Drink cold, unsweetened drinks. Try to drink, taking regular small sips, at least 1.5 liters of fluid per day, such as water and sugar-free soft drinks (excludes dialysis patients).
  • Take frequent sips or sprays of cold water, ice cubes or sugar free ice lollies (excludes dialysis patients).
  • Use a humidifier at night to keep the air full of moisture.

Stimulate saliva

  • Suck sugar-free boiled sweets, pastilles or mints and chew sugar-free gum like Biotène.

Avoid things that can dry the mouth

  • Avoid caffeine (e.g. coffee/tea, caffeinated soft drinks), alcohol, tobacco, and smoking.
  • Avoid hot, dry environments.
  • Avoid acidic drinks, such as orange and grapefruit juice.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking dries out the mucosa and makes you more susceptible to gum diseases and oral cancer.
  • Use an alcohol-free over-the-counter mouthwash like Biotène or ask your dentists for GC Dry Mouth Gel.

Make foods easier to eat

  • Moisten foods with gravies, sauces, extra oil, mayonnaise and yoghurt to make them easier to swallow.
  • Eat foods that contain a lot of fluid, such as fruits (fresh or tinned oranges, grapes, and peaches), jelly, puréed fruits and soft puddings.
  • Avoid foods that can dry the mouth, such as crackers.
  • Avoid dry or hard, crunchy foods that could cut or graze/ scrape your mouth.
  • Avoid salty and spicy foods as these can irritate your sensitive mouth.
  • Steam vegetables until they are soft