The Dry Mouth Diet

The Dry Mouth Diet

Dry mouth is a condition that many people experience as a result of radiation treatments to the mouth and throat, certain chemotherapy drugs, and several other medications.  Also known as oral mucositis, dry mouth happens when the body stops producing enough saliva to properly coat the teeth and tongue and help with chewing and swallowing.  That’s why the American Cancer Society has a list of foods on their website that those with dry mouth should prefer and avoid so long as their condition persists.

Foods To Prefer

• Meat in gravy, stewed meat, or slow-cooked meats with plenty of juices

• Cold oatmeal, cereal with plenty of water, soft bread and pastries with plenty of moisture

• Fruits canned in juice or in a syrup, vegetables served in a sauce and not too hot

• Yogurt, milk, tea, juice mixed with plenty of water, ice cream, pudding

Foods To Avoid

• Dry meat, jerky

• Dry bread, pasta and rice, chips and other grain-based crunch snacks, dry breakfast cereal

• Bananas, dried fruits, lemons, most vegetables and particularly raw vegetables

• Cake, cookies, pies

That being said, however, even many items on the “avoid” list are good to eat so long as they get thoroughly soaked beforehand.  Smaller bites are also more helpful than larger ones.

Another way you can improve your oral health when you have dry mouth is to rinse with water and with a nonalcoholic mouthwash.  Alcohol has been known to cause or worsen mouth sores, but a nonalcoholic mouthwash could potentially help by coating the mouth in a way that lingers for longer than regular water.