If you feel as though your mouth is almost always dry, you may be suffering from a common condition known as dry mouth. This happens when the salivary glands aren’t producing an adequate amount of saliva. Dry mouth can be caused by a variety of reasons, from certain medications to stress to other more serious health conditions. Not only is dry mouth uncomfortable, it can also put you at greater risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease. For that reason, it’s important to resolve the problem as soon as possible. Here are a few methods that may help.
- Drink water: This may sound overly simplistic, but sometimes dry mouth is caused from dehydration. Make sure you’re getting enough fluids throughout the course of each day, especially if you’re engaging in physical activity.
- Chew sugar-free gum: Chewing gum stimulates the production of saliva inside the mouth, which can help resolve dry mouth issues – at least temporarily.
- Suck on sugar-free hard candies or mints: Similar to chewing gum, sucking on hard candy or mints can also increase saliva production in the short term. Just be sure that the candies or mints are sugar-free.
- Avoid too much caffeine and alcohol: Both caffeine and alcohol dehydrate your system, making dry mouth symptoms worse. So avoid indulging in too much coffee, tea, or alcoholic beverages.
- Concentrate on breathing through your nose instead of through your mouth: Some people get into a habit of mouth-breathing, which exacerbates dry mouth. Focus on breathing through your nose instead.
- Don’t smoke: Smoking is not only bad for your overall health, it also makes dry mouth symptoms worse since it slows down the production of saliva inside your mouth. For all sorts of reasons – including resolving dry mouth – you should quit smoking.
- Avoid mouthwash containing alcohol: Just as drinking alcohol can make dry mouth worse, using a mouthwash containing alcohol can do the same thing. Instead, choose one of the many varieties of mouthwash that do not contain alcohol.
- Try using a humidifier: If you live in a dry climate, or if you keep your home closed up much of the time, the air inside your home could become dry. Breathing dry air can lead to dry mouth, and a humidifier can help by adding moisture to the air inside your home.
- Floss every day: Of course, everyone should remember to floss every day to help remove plaque, tartar, and food debris in between teeth and to help prevent gum disease. But flossing is particularly important for people with dry mouth. People suffering from dry mouth are much more susceptible to developing gum disease, and flossing is an excellent way to help prevent that from happening.
If these home remedies don’t work, talk to your dentist or doctor about your dry mouth. There might be other ways to address the issue, and a qualified medical professional can help you determine the best way to resolve it once and for all.
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