Can dry mouth be prevented?

Because dry mouth, or xerostomia, can be caused by so many different things, it is not very easy to prevent. However, drinking enough water regularly and avoiding alcohol and tobacco can help prevent chronic dry mouth. As always, preventative dental care is also recommended for those who suffer chronic dry mouth.

Audrey K. Chun, MD
Geriatric Medicine
If you're taking any medications, ask your doctor if one or more of them may be causing your dry mouth; if so, it may be possible to adjust your dosage. Your doctor may recommend an over-the-counter artificial saliva product such as Salivart, Biotene or Aquoral, which will help to keep your mouth moist, or may prescribe medications to help your salivary glands function more effectively. Sucking on sugar-free lozenges or chewing sugarless gum also may help stimulate saliva production, but avoid mouthwashes that contain alcohol, as these can worsen dryness. Mention your problem to your dentist also, as saliva helps protect the teeth from decay -- you may need more frequent check-ups to ensure your teeth are healthy.
Regular dental checkups can help diagnose any problems in the early stage, when they can be corrected with greater east.

Increasing fluid intake sometimes can alleviate dry mouth. Your dentist may recommend using artificial saliva to keep oral tissues moist. Other remedies include:
  • sugar-free gum or candy to stimulate salivary flow
  • frequent sips of water
  • alcohol-free oral rinses
  • restricted intake of caffeine, alcohol and carbonated beverages

If you suffer with dry mouth, there are various ways to increase saliva. First, if you have diabetes, make sure you're keeping your blood glucose levels managed. If you have dry mouth and take antihistamines for colds, allergies or sinusitis, ask your doctor if you can change the medication or cut back to increase saliva. You can also increase the liquids in your diet. Make sure you are drinking enough for your physical condition. You can also chew sugarfree gum or suck on sugarless candies to increase saliva in the mouth. In addition, there are OTC mouth rinses and sprays that can help increase saliva in the mouth.

Continue Learning about Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)

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Frequent small sips of water can alleviate dry mouth. Sugar-free candy or gum stimulate saliva flow,...
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.