Save on pet insurance with Pets Best!Learn More

close

5 Tips for Dealing With Dry Mouth

5 Tips for Dealing With Dry Mouth

If you suffer from dry mouth, you know the symptoms well. That dry feeling in your throat. The incessant thirst. Hoarseness. A dry tongue. That sticky feeling in the mouth that never seems to go away. The bad breath.

Xerostomia, or dry mouth, isn’t a disease, but it’s often a side effect or symptom of various other conditions affecting salivary gland function. Regardless of its cause, find out what to do about dry mouth below.

Chew Sugar-Free Gum

Chewing sugar-free gum or hard candies can help stimulate the salivary glands, alleviating the symptoms associated with dry mouth. Try to find a brand sweetened with xylitol, which is a natural sugar alcohol that has been shown to prevent cavities. Keep in mind, however, that excessive amounts of sugar-free treats can cause stomach cramping or diarrhea, so don’t overdo it.

Avoid Alcohol-Based Mouthwashes

Mouthwashes that contain alcohol can be overly drying, so you want to opt for an alcohol-free mouthwash or a brand designed especially for dry mouth. Some products contain xylitol, which is an ingredient recommended by dentists, giving you the extra benefit of fighting against tooth decay.

Drink Plenty of Water

Sipping water throughout the day can help combat dry mouth. If you find it difficult to up your water intake, try keeping a reusable water bottle with you at all times and refill it when it’s empty. Many reusable plastic water bottles are even designed with counters that you can turn with every refill, helping you keep track of your intake.

Unfortunately, both alcoholic and caffeinated beverages contribute to dry mouth. Even if you don’t want to give up your favorite drinks anytime soon, cutting back can go a long way toward alleviating some of your symptoms.

Breathe Through Your Nose

Many people breathe through their mouths, which can cause throat irritation in addition to dry mouth. Even if you don’t think you’re a mouth breather, if you frequently wake up with a parched mouth or throat, you’re probably breathing through your mouth at night. If this is the case, use a room humidifier to add extra moisture to the air, and be sure to breathe through your nose during the day.

Stop Tobacco Use

Cigarettes and chewing tobacco are harmful to your health in many ways, and dry mouth is one of them. In addition to dry mouth, tobacco use has been proven to cause periodontal disease, tooth loss, gum recession, mouth pain, and cavities. Smokers are also twice as likely to need root canal treatments. Talk to your doctor about strategies for quitting a bad habit, especially if you need help breaking your nicotine addiction.

Dry mouth is a nuisance without a single permanent fix, but it’s nice to know there are several steps you can take toward stimulating those salivary glands and banishing dry mouth. Scheduling a dental appointment is the first step in finding a solution that works right for you.

Brought to you by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), New York, NY. Material discussed is meant for general illustration and/or informational purposes only and it is not to be construed as tax, legal, investment or medical advice. #2016-28223 (exp. 9/18)

Image via Flickr by Hyoh

Recent Posts

blog

Worst Halloween Candy for Your Teeth

Here’s a list of candy for you and your...

blog

7 Surprising Things That are Bad for Your Teeth

There are many well-known cavity-causing villains for your teeth....

blog

Is Your Sports Equipment Doing Enough to Protect Your Teeth?

Getting your kids involved in sports at a young...

blog

What to Do When COBRA Coverage Ends: Your Options

If you’ve lost your employer-provided health or dental insurance...

blog

3 Common Mouth Problems You’re Ignoring — And What It’ll Cost You

Tooth decay, sore gums and cracked teeth—though minor at...

How can we help you?

Learn More About Guardian

Guardian has been a trusted name in insurance for over 155 years. Today, we have one of the largest dental insurance networks in the country where you can save an average of 36% on dental procedures. Learn More About Guardian »

Find a Dentist

Find a Dentist »

With a nationwide network of providers, we can help you find a provider.
Start Your Search

Our Plans

Our Plans »

One size never fits all—find out what Guardian can offer you and your family.
View Our Plans

Documents & Forms

Documents & Forms »

Get the forms you need here.

Contact Us

Contact Us »

Whether you're looking for a new plan or are an existing member, we're here to help.

Get a quote sidebar link

Protect yourself and your family today.