What to do about a dry mouth

What if my mouth always feels dry?

If your mouth feels constantly dry, you may have a condition medically known as xerostomia, which occurs when saliva glands aren’t functioning properly. Not only can this result in drying of oral tissues and tongue, but it also causes chapped lips, sore angles of the mouth and even problems speaking.

Persistent dry mouth is detrimental to good oral health. The condition can cause an excess of bacteria-harbouring plaque that causes bad breath and tartar not to mention cavities and gum disease. Dry mouth can even make wearing dental appliances like dentures painful.

Finding out why your mouth is so dry is important. If a couple glasses of water do not give relief remember that certain Over the counter and prescription medications like antihistamines and blood pressure drugs can cause dry mouth. Check what’s in your medicine cabinet and the information sheets in your medication to see if any daily medications are the culprit. Also, other health issues such as diabetes and arthritis complications can result in a persistently dry mouth. Make sure to check with your doctor before stopping any medications you are taking that cause dry mouth – even though a dry mouth is irritating the medications may be saving your life or helping prevent other disease or illness!

Dentists vs dryness

If you feel like you’re holding the Sahara Desert in your mouth, make an appointment with your dentist for a comprehensive examination of your oral health to determine the cause. Let your dentist know what health conditions you have and take in a list of medications you’ve been taking. In the meantime, you can lessen the sticky feeling by:

  • Drinking more water
  • Limiting caffeine and tobacco consumption
  • Avoiding excess sugar and sweets
  • Using a saliva substitute/mouth moisturiser from the dentist or pharmacy

Keeping a bag of ice chips handy can also help. So does having a piece of sugar-free gum or a sugar-free lolly. Remember to double up on your daily oral health regime by rinsing, brushing and flossing more until you can get in to see your dentist.