Understanding Dry Mouth
Dry mouth is a surprisingly common problem. One in four Americans suffer from it. At the most basic level, dry mouth is a lack of saliva—simply not having enough saliva or, at worst, having no saliva. It also helps return your mouth’s pH levels back to neutral after eating, countering the acid attack brought on by eating and drinking. Saliva is our body’s best defense against the formation of caries, so a lack of saliva is a genuine medical problem in its own right. A variety of things can cause or contribute to dry mouth, including medications, age, medical issues, and more.
Signs of dry mouth can vary from person to person. In general, if you suspect you may have dry mouth, you probably have experienced some or all of the following: a sticky feeling in the mouth; chronic bad breath; thick feeling saliva; problems chewing or swallowing; dry, painful tongue; scratchy, hoarse throat; and /or altered taste.
Dry Mouth Causes
Alcohol, tobacco, or recreational drug use
Symptoms of Dry Mouth
Dry or sore throat
Thick, stringy saliva
Difficulty chewing, speaking or swallowing
Problems wearing dentures
Common Questions About Dry Mouth:
Other than discomfort, why should I treat my dry mouth seriously?
Untreated dry mouth significantly raises your risk of tooth decay and gum disease—not to mention mouth sores, thrush, and poor nutrition from problems chewing and swallowing.
My new medication is causing my dry mouth but I can’t stop taking it. What’s the alternative?
Medications are the most common causes of dry mouth. Talk to your doctor about potential alternative medication or try an over-the-counter xylitol-containing spray that moistens the mouth and increases oral pH.
I’ve heard mouthwashes can be causing this—is that true?
While mouthwashes can certainly be a valuable asset in any oral hygiene regimen, mouthwashes that contain alcohol can actually dry out your mouth and can exacerbate the problem for prone individuals.
Dry Mouth Resources
The Top 4 Reasons Not to Ignore Dry Tongue
How to Tell if You Have Dry Mouth
Does Alcohol Cause Dry Mouth?
Short on Saliva? Try These Easy Dry Mouth Remedies!
7 Easy Ways to Beat Dry Mouth
What’s the Risk? Dry Mouth and Saliva
It Does What? Unknown Facts About Dry Tongue
Did You Know Your Medications May Cause Dangerous Dry Mouth?
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How to Relieve Dry Mouth
While the best treatment for dry mouth depends on what’s causing the issue, you can do a few things to relieve dry mouth temporarily. However, to find a long-term remedy it’s best to address the root cause directly and use products aimed at preserving, substituting, and stimulating your saliva. That being said, here’s a few ways to temporarily ease your dry mouth.
- Limit caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco intake
- Chew sugarless gum
- Try a humidifier at night
- Avoid antihistamines and decongestants
CariFree elevated pH products attack the root of decay, while helping to moisten the mouth, and are proven to balance bacterial levels for a healthy oral environment. Our products are highly effective, safe for everyday use and—most importantly—have helped thousands break the frustrating caries cycle and finally enjoy decay free visits to the dentist.