When you are suffering from dry mouth, your initial goal should be to discover the root cause of your dry mouth. If the cause is due to medications – such as antidepressant or allergy medications – your dentist and doctor will work with you to find an alternate medication or dosage. If the cause is due to permanent damage to your salivary glands or another medical condition, then the best course of action is to treat your symptoms.
Drinking water is the best way to keep your mouth hydrated. If you suffer from dry mouth, it is best to keep a bottle of water with you at all times. It is especially important to drink water during and after meals. Drinking water helps in several ways: it keeps your whole body hydrated; it helps lubricate your mouth as you chew; and it helps rinse food particles away after eating.
There are several over the counter mouth rinses that also help relieve the symptoms of dry mouth. The most common of these is Biotene, but there are also dry mouth rinses from A.C.T. and Colgate. Any mouth rinse that contains glycerin will help. Glycerin helps lubricate your mouth and will remain in your mouth as a lubricating agent longer than water.
An important ingredient to avoid in mouth rinses when you suffer from dry mouth is alcohol. Mouth rinses like Listerine and Scope contain alcohol to help kill bacteria, but it also has a drying effect on your oral tissues. Our Evanston dentists do not recommend using mouth rinses that contain alcohol, but you should especially stay away from these rinses if you suffer from dry mouth.
Our Evanston dentists recommend products containing xylitol to help relieve the symptoms of dry mouth. Hard candies, such as xylitol lollipops or lozenges, are a great choice as sucking on these candies will help stimulate saliva production. There are additional products containing xylitol that are made specifically for dry mouth. One such product is Spry’s Rain Spray. This is a spray containing xylitol and glycerin to help lubricate your mouth. We have patients who find that XyliMelts help relieve their dry mouth. XyliMelts are small long lasting discs that adhere to your tooth or gums to help stimulate saliva production throughout the day or night.
Treating your dry mouth will help keep your teeth and mouth healthy. Don’t wait to treat your dry mouth. Call our Evanston dental office and set up an appointment to find out what treatments would be right for you.