Got Dry Mouth?
Have you ever experienced the symptoms of dry mouth? When your mouth feels sticky and dry like a cotton ball, you may even have a frequent thirst, sores in and around your mouth, cracked lips, a dry feeling in your throat, or a red, raw tongue. Do you want to go moisten your mouth with a refreshing drink after reading that? For some people these symptoms are a daily occurrence. If you have any of these symptoms it could mean that your mouth is simply not producing enough saliva.
Our body is designed to constantly produce saliva. The average, healthy person makes four to eight cups of saliva a day. Saliva is good for you and it is made up of more than 99% water and the rest is minerals, and proteins to help your mouth stay healthy and fight infections.
There are a variety of reasons why someone may be experiencing dry mouth. Diseases and medications can cause the lack of saliva. A few of these diseases are diabetes, depression, Sjogren’s syndrome, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. Medications that can reduce saliva include: antihistamines, NSAIDS, decongestants, pain medications, diuretics, anti-depressants, anti-hypertensive medications and muscle relaxants.
It is important to treat dry-mouth because the lack of saliva can be part of the cause for periodontal diseases, fungal infection, increase caries on your teeth and even affect your chewing function and your speech. Talk to your dentist about your symptoms and find ways to increase your saliva in your mouth. One way this can be done is by using chewing gum, which can stimulate saliva production and artificial saliva products. The artificial saliva products are made in the form of toothpastes, mouth rinses, moistening gel and mints.
While these products are helpful and contain beneficial ingredients such as enzymes, xylitol, we recommend still being diligent in reviewing the additional ingredients of these products. Some artificial saliva choices are made with sweeteners that would have a negative affect on your oral health. Ingredients that some products have are propylene glycol, poloxamer 407 and sodium benzoate. The other name for propylene glycol is antifreeze. I am sure you are thinking “what?” at that. There are no current studies saying these chemicals are harmful in a mouthwash, but it definitely gives us something to think about.
One product that seems to be helpful for dry mouth and has some positive ingredients is Dry Mouth Mints by Scientific Health Solutions. They are a unique product with hyaluronic acid, orange pectin and slippery elm. Hyaluronic acid is one of several glycosaminoglycans molecules in the body and is important because it provides hydration by retaining water in the tissues. The orange pectin and slippery elm are helpful herbs because they increase mucin production and act to relieve dry-mouth irritation while keeping everything moist. There may be other products that have similar ingredients if you try any please let us know how they work for you. Our goal is to encourage you to look for healthy options to improve your overall well-being.
In conclusion the following is steps you can try to improve a chronic dry-mouth:
- If you are taking medications that cause dry mouth, talk with your doctor about natural alternatives.
- Drink at least two quarts of water a day.
- Use a product such as Dry Mouth Mints and a chewing gum to stimulate saliva.