There are many underlying causes for dry mouth, also called xerostomia. People can develop this problem due to medications, lifestyle choices, or health conditions and diseases. There are a variety of treatments available for those suffering from this problem. Treatments are not one-size-fits-all — they will differ from patient to patient based on the cause and severity of the condition. If you have xerostomia, it is important to discuss this with your doctor or dentist, who will help identify the underlying cause and offer solutions. In some cases, your dentist may suggest a specific oral rinse and toothpaste, or your doctor might recommend a change in medications.
Good oral hygiene: Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss after every meal, both of which can help fight bad breath caused by dry mouth. Use mouthwash that is free of alcohol, saccharin, or foaming detergents like sodium lauryl sulfate. Scrape the tongue with a professional tongue scraper.
Proper hydration: Drinking too much coffee, tea, alcoholic beverages, and soft drinks can result in dehydration. In addition, dehydration is more common in older adults and may be a sign of an underlying condition. Having more water in your system makes it easier for the body to produce saliva. If you are dehydrated, consuming large amounts of water can help you rehydrate. If you have a chronic problem, drinking adequate amounts of water on a daily basis will help give your body the resources it needs to more consistently produce saliva.
Healthy diet: Avoiding diet or regular soft drinks and foods high in sodium can help prevent dry mouth from developing or getting worse. Eating a healthy diet not only helps combat this problem, but can also help prevent halitosis.
Sugarless candy and chewing gum: Sucking on sugarless candy or chewing sugar-free gum helps stimulate the production of saliva. In fact, doing this throughout the day is an easy and sweet way to temporarily help alleviate this problem. It is important that the candy or chewing gum is sugarless, because sugar-laden products may not only make the problem worse, but also will promote dental decay.
Humidifiers: A dry environment can cause people to breathe through the mouth instead of the nose. Passing all of that cool air through the mouth causes everything on the inside of the mouth to dry out more quickly. A humidifier in the bedroom, especially during winter months can help this situation. Another option is a whole-house humidifier that can be installed as part of the home's HVAC system.
Remedies for Medication-Induced Dry Mouth
If you are taking medications and suspect this might be the cause of your dry mouth, it is important to discuss this with your doctor and disclose all of the prescribed and over-the-counter drugs you are currently taking. A drug log will include the dosage, name of the prescribing doctor, and when you first started taking the medication. Once the drug list is complete, the doctor will be able to identify which drugs in the list have a known xerostomia side effect. In some cases, there be another option that does not cause this problem, however, substitutes are not always available. In some instances, reducing the medication dosage may be enough to reduce or eliminate dry mouth. If this does not work, the doctor may prescribe drugs such as Salagen and Evoxac, which are highly effective in stimulating the salivary glands.
Remedies for Disease-Induced Dry Mouth
Salagen and Evoxac are often prescribed for people with Sjögren's syndrome, an autoimmune disorder that causes the body to erroneously attack the salivary glands, damaging their ability to release saliva. Radiation can damage salivary glands, and chemotherapy can cause saliva to thicken, making the mouth feel dry. Many cancer patients find relief by using dry mouth rinses and sprays on a frequent basis, while others opt for over-the-counter saliva substitutes. People with diabetes can reduce or eliminate this problem by carefully checking glucose intake, eating the right foods, taking medication as directed, maintaining a healthy weight, and regularly monitoring insulin levels.
TheraBreath® Products to Treat Dry Mouth
TheraBreath offers a line of effective solutions that can provide a permanent solution to tackling xerostomia. All of TheraBreath's oral rinses contain gentle, but therapeutic ingredients such as zinc, xylitol, tea tree leaf oil, sodium chlorite and aloe Barbadensis leaf juice. These ingredients help eliminate anaerobic bacteria and increase saliva flow. They provide relief from dry mouth and halitosis caused by congestion, post-nasal drip, and medications.
The AktivOxigen Serum and travel size products are a great solution for those who travel frequently. During a busy day between meals, or running from meeting to meeting, TheraBreath's Mouth Wetting Lozenges are a handy solution. Sugar-free, they keep your mouth moist, increase saliva production, and freshen your breath with a great mandarin-mint flavor.
Regular use of TheraBreath products will help leave your mouth feeling cool, fresh, and hydrated. Find out what millions of Americans already know. Click here to read some of their success stories.