On diagnosis of Dry Mouth / Xerostomia symptoms, dentists advice the patient about their increased susceptibility to dental decay and the need of regular dental check ups to avoid long term problems and complications. The symptoms of dry mouth / xerostomia can be detected and these can be any of the following:

What to Look Out For

  1. Sticky,dry or sore mouth

  2. An increase in dental caries particularly in cervical  and proximal region of the tooth and in the roots.

  3. Increased dental plaque

  4. Cracking and fissuring of the tongue.

  5. Frothy saliva.

  6. Ulceration of oral mucosa.

  7. Bad breath

  8. Recurrent oral Candida infections.


Treatment of Dry Mouth

Since Dry Mouth is caused by many things, it should not be surprising that there are different ways to treat  it. To treat most instances of dry mouth, it will be necessary to use a combination of the various strategies discussed below


         

  1. Take plenty of fluids to keep your mouth moist..

  2. Take blended and moist food which is easier to swallow.

  3. Suck on sugar-free hard candies, ice chips, or sugar-free popsicles. Chew sugarless gum (gums containing xylitol). These sucking and chewing actions help stimulate saliva flow.

  4. Avoid drinks containing caffeine (for example, coffees, teas, some colas, chocolate-containing drinks). Also avoid acidic beverages, such as any fruit juices (orange, apple, grape, grapefruit) and tomato juice.

  5. Avoid smoking and alcohol.

  6. Avoid salty foods, dry foods (for example, crackers, toast, cookies, dry breads, dry meats/poultry/fish, dried fruit, bananas) and foods with high sugar content.

  7. Do not use mouthwashes containing alcohol as it leads to dryness of mouth.

  8. Use moisturizing toothpastes and gels.

  9. Rinse with mouthwashes which are specially made for persons suffering from dry mouth.

  10. Herbal preparations are recommended like chamomile and Chinese green tea.

  11. In case of anxiety or depression, consult a psychiatrist.

  12. If it is due to medications, consult the physician.

  13. Take pilocarpine which is an artificial salivary formulation.

  14. Use a humidifier: The dry ambient air of most modern homes contributes to one’s sensation of dryness. The use of a humidifier, particularly at night, helps address this concern.

  15. Your dentist or doctor may recommend the use of artificial saliva products. These products are available over-the-counter in a rinse or spray.

  16. Minimize your intake of spicy or salty foods as these may cause pain in a dry mouth.


Prevention

The best cure for dry mouth is preventing it in the first place. To prevent dry mouth, avoid things that cause it. For example if dry mouth is related to a medicine, your physician may be able to advise you to stop taking those drugs, reduce their intake or switch to another “less drying” medication. Get regular dental checkups and cleanings. You can also take steps to prevent or manage the symptoms of dry mouth.

"You never miss the water till the well runs dry." Likewise, you don't appreciate saliva until you have dry mouth.
 


 

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