While you may not think about it until your mouth is dry, treating dry mouth is as important as every other component of your dental hygiene regimen. Whether it’s because you’ve just been fitted for dentures or haven’t been drinking enough water, dry mouth can be extremely uncomfortable. It can also be warning you of another bigger problem as it may be the sign of an underlying medical condition. Moreover, the lack of saliva in your mouth will increase the rate of tooth decay. Good dental hygiene goes beyond just brushing and flossing on a regular basis.
Natural Methods to Treat Dry Mouth
It’s good to treat things naturally as much as possible. Most natural treatments have lesser side effects and are more manageable in the long term. The most basic way to treat dry mouth is to drink water. Not only does it provide the initial rush of fluid into the body but it also helps to hydrate your cells.
In some situations though, chronic dry mouth may make it difficult for you to drink that much water. Your alternatives are to sip it or to suck on ice chips. When your mouth is so dry that you can barely speak, sucking on ice chips is the best option. The melting ice will ease the discomfort while at the same time stimulating the saliva glands in your mouth. Chipped or crushed ice works better than cubes because they are smaller, but cubes will work in a pinch.
Eat foods like cucumbers, watermelon, celery, and similar foods. They are high in water content, which is good news for your mouth. They will help to relieve the sensations of dryness, hydrate your body, and satiate your hunger at the same time.
Dry mouth tends to be at its worst in the morning. To prevent this, invest in a humidifier to increase the overall moisture content in your room. This is typically the best solution for those who are living in a dry climate rather than those who are overly dehydrated.
Things to Avoid with Dry Mouth
Part of good dental hygiene is knowing what not to do as much as what to do for an effective treatment. When you’re suffering from dry mouth, it is very important to avoid sugar, sodium, and caffeine. All of these lead to further dehydration. The sugar may seem innocuous, and you may even crave it.
The Mayo Clinic has participated in several studies over the years to understand sugar’s impact in dehydration. Often times, people who are dehydrated crave foods with sugar, partially because sugar provides energy and dehydration leads to reduced levels of energy. Unfortunately, the sugar only increases the dehydration. Salt obviously increases the dryness, and the caffeine functions as a diuretic.