If you find your mouth feels dry and sticky during the day and night you may be one of the millions of sufferers of dry mouth. There are many causes of dry mouth, some controllable and some not. No matter the cause, lack of saliva diminishes your body’s natural ability to protect itself against cavities. Saliva is our body’s way of neutralizing the acids from food or those produced by acidic bacteria. The absence of saliva often leaves you uncomfortable and your teeth more vulnerable to decay. If you want to take control of your dry mouth here are 7 easy ways to make that happen.
- Use xylitol gum or alkaline saliva substitutes to stimulate your natural saliva production. This will also limit the acid production of cavity-causing bacteria.
- Use a 0.05% sodium fluoride rinse with xylitol and neutralizing pH to help prevent a caries infection and remineralize teeth.
- Limit sugary/carbohydrate containing items in your diet as well as acidic beverages (i.e. diet soda, coffee, tea, sparkling water, alcohol).
- Drink plenty of water to help keep the mouth moist.
- Find out if there are effective alternatives to the medications you take that do not claim dry mouth as a side effect.
- Brush and floss regularly
- Use only alcohol-free mouth rinses and be sure you know the pH of all your dental products (pH of 7+ is ideal).