Salivary Gland Disease Treating Dry Mouth

A variety of dry mouth remedies are available. However, finding the best dry mouth treatment for you will depend on the underlying causes of your dry mouth syndrome.

In some cases, your doctor won’t be able to cure what causes your dry mouth syndrome. For example, Sjogren’s syndrome is a lifelong condition, so effective dry mouth treatment means providing dry mouth remedies to make your condition more tolerable.

Medical Dry Mouth Treatment Option

If your dry mouth syndrome is a side effect of medication, your doctor may be able to make adjustments. Switching drugs, lowering your dosage or eliminating the prescription altogether can minimize or eliminate your dry mouth syndrome. Always talk to a doctor before stopping or reducing your dose of any prescription medication.

If a specific medical condition, such as diabetes, is causing your dry mouth, treating the condition should help minimize your symptoms.

Your doctor might also prescribe the following for dry mouth treatment:

  • Chemical stimulants, like Mouth-Kote®, or Optimoist®
  • Electrical stimulation of salivary glands
  • Medication that stimulates saliva production, like pilocarpine or cevimeline
  • Oral moisturizers and salivary substitutes, like Oralube or Oral Balance.

Lifestyle Changes and Dry Mouth Remedies

You can also make changes in your lifestyle to minimize dry mouth syndrome. These include:

  • Adding liquids to solid food
  • Avoiding alcohol, even in mouthwash
  • Avoiding foods that are difficult to chew
  • Avoiding spicy and acidic foods
  • Breathing through your nose rather than your mouth
  • Cutting down on sugar and carbohydrate intake
  • Quitting tobacco, which exacerbates dry mouth syndrome
  • Sipping water regularly
  • Stimulating saliva flow, by sucking sugar free candies or chewing sugarless gum
  • Using a humidifier
  • Using mild lip balms to keep lips moist.

Dental Care and Dry Mouth Syndrome

Dry mouth syndrome diminishes saliva flow significantly, increasing your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. This means preventing dental problems is an important part of effective dry mouth treatment.

Discuss your dry mouth syndrome with your dentist, and ask for a demonstration of proper tooth brushing technique. Make sure to brush after every time you eat. To keep oral bacteria under control, you may want to take up tongue scraping on a daily basis. Ask your dentist for tips on how to do this, too.

Other dental dry mouth remedies include:

  • Daily flossing
  • Seeing your dentist on a regular basis
  • Using fluoride toothpaste
  • Using fluoride rinses.

These techniques may help keep dry mouth syndrome from damaging your oral health.

Resources

American Cancer Society. (2009). Mouth dryness. Retrieved September 29, 2010, from http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/TreatmentsandSideEffects/PhysicalSideEffects/DealingwithSymptomsatHome/caring-for-the-patient-with-cancer-at-home-mouth-dryness.

Dry Mouth. (n.d.). Treating the cause(s) of oral dryness. Retrieved September 29, 2010, from http://www.drymouth.info/consumer/TreatmentForDM.asp.

Mayo Clinic. (2009). Dry mouth. Retrieved September 29, 2010, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dry-mouth/HA00034.

University of Illinois at Chicago. (n.d.). Xerostomia (dry mouth). Retrieved September 27, 2010, from http://www.uic.edu/classes/peri/peri343/xerost/xerost1.htm.