If you are taking a medication that your dentist or physician thinks may be causing dry mouth, he or she will likely want to experiment with other drug options. Since each body has its unique qualities and weaknesses, there may be an alternative medication that will work well for you without reducing, changing the consistency of or eliminating saliva.
Drugs such as Evoxac and Salogen are specifically designed to increase saliva production [source: Mayo Clinic]. Sprays, creams and ointments are also available to act as replacements for saliva so you can avoid the discomfort of dry mouth and avoid the resulting bacteria buildup which can cause mouth sores and cavities [source: NIDCR].
Momentary flare ups of dry mouth can be addressed with many different options. For instance, sugar-free candies or gum will help stimulate saliva production. You could also keep a bottle of water or crushed ice handy. And if you're suffering through a bout of dry mouth, a humidifier can be a great help, too -- since you can't bring it with you, you'll want to take full advantage of its hydrating effects while you're sleeping.
A variety of lifestyle changes can prevent or reduce the symptoms of dry mouth. Be aware of how you're breathing -- concentrate on breathing through your nose instead of your mouth. Remember that caffeine has a drying effect. Coffees, teas and sodas should be limited or avoided. Salt, alcohol and tobacco can also be eliminated or reduced to enhance moisture in your mouth [sources: Mayo Clinic; NIDCR]. Decongestants and antihistamines may dry you mouth as well.
Cases of dry mouth can be mild or severe, temporary or chronic. But the options available and the potential for ridding yourself of the problem are also quite good.
Want to know more? We have lots more information below.
- DeVizo, Dr. William, "How Common is Dry Mouth?" Sharecare. (Dec. 5, 2011) http://www.sharecare.com/question/how-common-is-dry-mouth
- Mayo Clinic. "Dry Mouth." (Dec. 5, 2011) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dry-mouth/HA00034
- MedicineNet.com. "Dry Mouth." (Dec. 5, 2011) http://www.medicinenet.com/dry_mouth/article.htm
- National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. "Dry Mouth." (Dec. 5, 2011) http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/oralhealth/topics/drymouth/drymouth.htm
- National Panic & Anxiety Disorder News. "Anxiety & Panic Attack Symptoms." (Dec. 5, 2011) http://www.npadnews.com/anxiety-symptoms.asp#drymouth
- Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation. "What is Sjogren's Syndrome?" (Dec. 6, 2011) http://www.sjogrens.org/