Why is my mouth always dry?
- Dry lips, throat or mouth sores
- Difficulty or discomfort when chewing, swallowing or speaking
- Burning sensation in the mouth or on your tongue
- Dry or sticky feeling in the mouth (as if your mouth is full of cotton balls)
Saliva production can be slowed or prevented by a condition called xerostomia, making it hard for you to swallow, chew food or speak. Untreated, this can increase your risk of tooth decay and suffering from stinking breath.
There are multiple causes that may result in dry mouth. Medicines, both over-the-counter and prescription can have side effects associated with dry mouth. These can include drugs to treat depression, high blood pressure and antihistamines as well as some inhalers for asthma and COPD. Disease or other conditions such as diabetes can also cause patients to suffer from a dry mouth – so make sure to tell a healthcare professional if this has become an issue for you.
- Avoid drinking water at extreme temperatures (very hot or cold) and focus on sipping room-temperature water throughout the day and night. Carry a water bottle with you at all times to help with this.
- Avoid caffeinated or carbonated drinks, particularly those full of sugar. Occasional coffee, tea or soda is ok but don’t overdo it as this can exacerbate symptoms
- Wash down all of your meals with a drink of water – before, during and after the meal
- Chewing sugar-less gum or sucking on sugar-free sweets can stimulate salivary flow naturally. There are also pastilles available OTC or on prescription.
- Avoid alcoholic drinks and smoking as these can both dry out your mouth as well as increasing your risk to gum diseases and oral cancers
- Use an alcohol free mouthwash such as Listerine Total Care Zero Mouthwash