How The Mayo Clinic Treats Dry Mouth

How The Mayo Clinic Treats Dry Mouth

The Mayo Clinic has one of the best sites on the internet for finding more information about diseases and learning what you can do about them.  Dry mouth is naturally on the big list, and the website has several different things that anyone can do to improve their ability to swallow, reduce mouth sores, and make sure their teeth aren’t decaying more rapidly than usual.

• Carry and drink plenty of water.  It’s not a perfect substitute for saliva, but it’s much better than nothing.

• Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco, all of which can dry out the mouth.

• Chew sugar-free gum throughout the day to stimulate your saliva glands as much as possible.

• Keep your mouth shut and breathe through your nose as much as possible, and use a humidifier at night to keep your mouth and throat as moist as they can be while you’re sleeping.

• Use a specially formulated saliva substitute, which is a spray, rinse, or nonalcoholic mouthwash that coats the mouth in a long-lasting chemical that can’t do everything saliva can but which can keep the mouth lubricated for longer than ordinary water.

If you suffer from dry mouth thanks to chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or some other condition or medication, you’ll want to make sure to do everything on the above list.  If you don’t, you may start to suffer from mouth sores, tooth decay, and choking problems when you don’t have enough saliva to turn dry cereal into mush.