Management of a Dry Mouth

How to Manage Dry Mouth

In my last Blog, I discussed the cause of a dry mouth.

In Part 2, I will provide some guidelines for the management of a dry mouth.

Firstly, a little basic Chemistry- Saliva is made up mostly of water but also contains ions and minerals & enzymes that protect your teeth, gums and mucosa (the lining of your mouth).

Importantly, saliva contains bicarbonate and ammonium, which neutralises acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth. This Acid acts to soften the tooth, which causes decay. Saliva is your body’s protection against decay. If there is no or little saliva, you have very little protection. While there is no cure for a dry mouth there are a number of steps that can be taken to manage the symptoms and reduce the risk of decay.

Dry Mouth

5 Causes of Dry Mouth

Having a dry mouth can be quite uncomfortable, unpleasant and limits normal daily functions like eating and speech. The sensation of a dry mouth is usually caused by a lack of saliva. This lack of saliva is not only uncomfortable but also increases the risk of many oral diseases such as tooth decay, gum disease and fungal infections.

Dry MouthWhat causes the lack of Saliva?

In-adequate hydration: Adequate hydration is required to produce the large volume of saliva we need to produce each day. I recommend 1.5 to 2 litres of tap water daily. Tap water is almost the only drink that has a neutral pH. Most drinks including fruit juice, soft drinks and energy drinks are both acidic (softening your valuable tooth enamel) and contain sugar. Tap water, as opposed to bottled water, also contains a low concentration of fluoride which helps to harden tooth enamel.