Dry mouth

What is dry mouth?

A dry mouth occurs when there is a lack of saliva and moisture resulting in the mouth being dried out. This can also extend to the throat, creating a scratchy and uncomfortable feeling.

What causes dry mouth?

There are various factors that contribute towards a dry mouth. If you are concerned about having a dry mouth, we advise you to visit your dentist, as neglecting to recognise symptoms can lead to complications down the line. By booking an appointment you can receive the necessary support and treatment for your dry mouth.
  • Mouth breathing can dry the mouth out, especially whilst sleeping.
  • Medications can cause the mouth to dry out, check the leaflets provided with medication to check the side effects.
  • Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
  • Dehydration can cause a dry mouth.
  • Anxiety and depression.
  • Potential underlying health problems can cause a dry mouth.

How to prevent dry mouth?

To prevent a dry mouth or decrease the risk of it worsening we suggest:
  • Avoid eating and drinking sugary, salty, acidic, and spicy foods.
  • Avoid drinking caffeinated drinks, alcoholic beverages, and fizzy drinks.
  • Avoid smoking tobacco.
  • Remove dentures before sleeping.
  • Discuss with your GP any concerns you may have, regarding medication and potential undiagnosed conditions.

How to treat dry mouth?

To treat a dry mouth, we suggest booking an appointment with your dentist or GP as they will be able to identify any causes.  To keep hydrated, drink plenty of water, and use ice chips or sugar-free ice lollies. We advise using sugar-free gum or sweets to promote saliva production but be wary of using sugary products as they can cause decay in a dry mouth.

Maintaining your oral hygiene is super important when treating a dry mouth, ensure you are brushing your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes, as well as flossing.

How to spot dry mouth/ symptoms?

A dry mouth is quite easy to spot as there will be a lack of saliva in the mouth resulting in a dry and uncomfortable feeling. You may notice your lips are chapping and showing signs of dehydration with skin flaking and cracking. A dry mouth can cause bad breath and a change in the way food tastes - this can also present itself as difficulty when eating, swallowing, and talking.

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