What can I do about dry mouth?

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Dry mouth can be a debilitating side effect of many medications, cancer drugs and radiation to the head and neck.

Some ways to manage dry mouth include:
  • Perform oral hygiene at least 4 times a day.
  • Floss once a day.
  • Rinse your mouth after meals.
  • Rinse with mixture of ½ tsp. salt, ½ tsp. baking soda and 8 ounces of water 4 to 6 times a day.
  • Limit coffee, tea and alcohol.
  • Avoid dry foods.
  • Use moisturizer on your lips.
  • Add sauces and gravies to make foods more moist.
  • Chew sugar-free gums.
  • Sip water, or spray water into your mouth regularly.
To help alleviate dry mouth, visit your dentist, who can help diagnose the problem and offer solutions.

Other remedies include:
  • using artificial saliva to keep oral tissues moist
  • 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
Dry mouth (xerostomia) can give you the feeling that there is never enough saliva in your mouth. It happens when the saliva-producing glands in the mouth are not working correctly. If you're on medicines that lead to dry mouth, your doctor may be able to change the medicine or adjust the dose for you. If salivary gland damage is the problem, your doctor can prescribe medicine that either stimulates your gland to work better or acts as artificial saliva to help wet your mouth.

Some ways to help with xerostomia, regardless of its cause, include:
  • avoiding spicy or salty foods that may lead to pain
  • drinking water throughout the day to help moisten your mouth
  • limiting your caffeine intake (soda, tea, coffee), since caffeine can dehydrate you and further dry out your mouth
  • chewing sugarless gum or sucking on sugarless candies
  • avoiding alcohol and tobacco (like caffeine, they can dry out your mouth)
Unfortunately, dry mouth is a common side effect of Darifenacin. Adjusting the dose of this medication may decrease this side effect, but it is important to discuss this with your doctor before making any changes to your medication. If dry mouth continues to bother you, you may want to try sugar-free hard candy‚ some patients report that this helps with dry mouth.

Continue Learning about Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)

Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)

Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)

If you've ever taken an antihistamine, decongestant, antidepressant or a number of other drugs, you may have experienced dry mouth (xerostomia). Dry mouth is caused by a lack of saliva or your saliva may feel thick and stringy. Si...

de effects of medication are the most common cause of dry mouth. Fortunately there are remedies for dry mouth; talk to your doctor if symptoms are severe. Learn more about preventing and treating dry mouth with expert advice from Sharecare.
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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.