Wait, did we say xerostomia? We meant “dry mouth,” as it’s more commonly known. Anyone who’s ever experienced a red wine hangover has experienced dry mouth. Our salivary glands are designed to produce the necessary moisture to keep our mouths functional and clean. However, there are many reasons they could malfunction or simply not be able to produce enough moisture for comfort. If you’re suffering from xerostomia, here are a few treatment options that may help.
We know it seems obvious, but the most common cause of xerostomia is dehydration. Whether it’s because you just ran a few miles, drank too much the night before or you just like Diet Coke more than you like water, you’re probably not drinking enough of the good, clear stuff. Human beings need at least a half-gallon of water every day to maintain proper hydration. If you experience constant dry mouth and can’t remember the last time you refilled your Brita, the cure may simply to imbibe more H2O.
Check Your Medication
If you’ve listened to the litany of side effects pharmaceutical companies are required to list at the end of their drug commercials, odds are you’ve heard “dry mouth.” Many, many prescription and over-the-counter medications have this very common side effect. If you’re having unbearable dry mouth, see your dentist or your doctor to see if there are any treatments available to counteract it or if it’s possible to switch medications.
Chew On It
Often sucking on a piece of candy or chewing some gum will stimulate salivary glands to up their production. It’s generally a temporary fix, but keeping them around will help you alleviate the onset of dry mouth if you’re in a situation where you might need immediate relief. Make sure to stick to sugar-free varieties that won’t do more harm than good.
Many treatments for dry mouth are simply changes to your daily routine. If you live in a dry area, consider utilizing a humidifier when you’re home. You can also supplement that tool by using an alcohol-free mouthwash and breathing through your nose. Making use of your nasal passages instead of your mouth (unless you have a cold, of course), will allow you to avoid wasting the saliva your mouth is producing. If you are suffering from dry mouth, you’ll also need to be extra-vigilant with dental care. Make sure you’re seeing your dentist on a regular basis and that you’re brushing, flossing and rinsing every day. Dry mouth can make your mouth more susceptible to harmful bacteria, so don’t let the problem get worse than it really is by slacking on your oral hygiene.