Welcome to our tips & tricks on dry mouth relieve
There are several important tasks when wanting to improve dry mouth symptoms. A lot of these you can initiate yourself. Here, we guide you to some of the important things within treatment for dry mouth.
General tips on dry mouth
In general, your diet and hydration is vital for your dry mouth status. Dehydrating beverages should be avoided. This includes many beverages like coffee, wine, spirits, beer, alcohol-containing rinses, sodapop, lemonades and acidic foods.
Sugary foods and drinks should be kept to an absolute minimum to reduce tooth decay.
Good dental care and regular visits to an experienced dentist is vital for your teeth. Brushing teeth minimum two to three times a day for 2-3 minutes. Be careful to brush your teeth correctly.
Treat with Water
Water is a ‘quick-fix’ for some, but lasts very shortly. The frequent sips of small amounts of water or alternatively water sprays might be useful for some patients and for others next to useless.
A common treatment for dry mouth is sugarless gums containing e.g. sorbitol or sugarless citrus/lemon candy. Be careful that some sugarless gums or candy might harm teeth or oral mucosa. Please confer with Dry Mouth Institute before using products that we do not recommend.
Several mouth-wetting agents are available, although the quality and properties of these products differ largely. As does the price. Some of these products contain citric acid which in the correct dose and combination can help keep the mouth moist. Other products contain antibacterials and yet others have both antifungal and antibacterial properties. Please notice, that some antibacterial products should not be used in combination with antifungal products as they might alter the effects of both products!
Artificial Saliva Substitutes
Several formulas of artificial saliva substitutes are available. These all seek to contain thickening agents although the outcome differ greatly. In the correct combination, methylcellulose or mucins may be effective. Regrettably, saliva substitutes typically vaporish or disappear quite fast from the oral surface. For this reason most patients are not satisfied with these products as sole treatment for dry mouth.
Fluoride application may, if used in combinations and in the correct manner, reduce plaque formation and aid in the remineralization of teeth.
For drug-induced dry mouth, whenever possible, try alternative medications. For example, blood pressure medicines known to suppress saliva output might be replaced by other less drying blood-pressure medicines agents.
Dental care for when patients with dry mouth
- Brush two times per day (minimum)
- Careful monitoring of gum problems (ulcers, constant bleeding, retraction of mucosa)
- Floss at least once a day involving all teeth
- Daily use of sodium fluoride toothpast
- Dental visits every six months
- Annual radiographs of all teeth
Please avoid the use of home products for whitening or brightening of teeth as there may be increased risk from the acidity of some over-the-counter products designed for use in patients with normal salivary flow and content. The safety of these products remain unknown for patients with dry mouth.
Dentures and implants for patients with dry mouth symptoms
Patients with dry mouth may have more difficulty wearing dentures because of the decreased saliva, moisture, and the inability to create an seal between the denture and the roof of the mouth. It is important to notice that dentures only very rarely can replicate natural teeth.
There are limited data regarding the ability of patients with dry mouth to tolerate implants, and you should be very cautious as to implant surgery as it may lead to severe consequences and post-operative complications.
Fungal infections (Oral candidiasis) & dry mouth conditions
Infections in the mouth – either bacterial or fungal – are very important to eradicate as they lead to ulcers, pain and dental decay. The most common oral infection is fungal infections e.g. oral candidiasis. Here Dry Mouth Institute provides recommendations for treatment.
The first step to treating oral candidiasis is to recognize the disease especially oral pain or burning in the mucosa (the ‘skin’ of the mouth). The mucosa will typically show as intermittent glowing red with areas of “burning” red.
Strategies to treat oral candidiasis are the following:
Dry Mouth Institute would recommend the first therapy to start with fluconazole 100 mg tablets. This is an ideal treatment for dry mouth. This could be two tablets on the first day followed by one tablet daily for three weeks. In case of an inadequate response, we recommend to change to a topical oral antifungal preparation. For most patients with dry mouth symptoms topical oral antifungal therapies are often required, as using pills or tablets as antifungal therapy it is likely to not to work satisfactory.
It is highly important to notice that several antifungal drugs contain sugars to improve taste. These should be avoided if you have dry mouth – especially those patients who require extended or repetitive courses treatments. Among the most common used of these medications include clotrimazole or nystatin oral suspension. Notice that sugar-free alternatives, include miconazole tablets (e.g. Oravig®) and nystatin vaginal tablets. However, these are not available in all countries. There are some possible work-arounds for these challenges. Miconazole buccal tablets can be ordered at several online pharmacies. You can also order troches containing 100,000 units of nystatin and flavored it yourself with artificial sweeteners.
We recommend you dissolved these tablets slowly in the mouth during a period of 15 to 20 minutes, and if you feel discomfort with this method you can aid with frequent sips of water (be careful not to wash the tables away). Also, please mind that this method is not appropriate for all patients, e.g. those with severe dry mouth due to problems with solubilizing the medication.
The treatment for oral candidiasis should be continued for at least 10 days or until the oral symptoms of burning, change in taste, tongue pain and metallic taste resolves. With successful treatment, the tongue should likely regain its normal appearance. A useful way of monitoring this is by daily photographs of the tongue. For patients with severe dry mouth (no or very limited saliva), length of treatment may need to be extended for up to four weeks. If you experience recurrences of your oral fungal infections, it is likely that you will need prophylactically treatment. This treatment could either be repeat courses monthly or the daily use of one tablet.
If you have with partial or complete dentures, you need to remove the dentures before fungal treatment. Dentures can be soaked overnight in chlorhexidine.
Other important complications to dry mouth syndrome
Patients with dry mouth typically have in addition to the oral symptoms other complaints including nasal dryness, throat conditions, esophageal irritation, as well as skin, bladder and genital symptoms. These problems have not been the focus of much research and mostly depend upon the physicians clinical experience. Here Dry Mouth Institute provide our recommendations:
Treatment of nasal dryness may improve comfort and decrease nose blocking which increases mouth breathing and exacerbate oral dryness. Room humidifiers may also be helpful, and saline nasal sprays should be used as needed. Gentle nasal lavage can be used to remove encrusted secretions. Additional causes of nasal blockage, such as nasal polyps and sinus infection, should be identified and treated appropriately.
Laryngotracheal (throat and larynx) irritation
Patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) should be treated appropriately; such symptoms may mimic those of recurrent sinusitis, burning mouth pain, or allergy, such as postnasal drip or frequent throat clearing with mucus, due to laryngotracheal irritation. Inappropriate treatment with antibiotics for presumed sinusitis can increase the risk of oral candidiasis.
Bladder and genital symptoms
Women (but also men) with dry mouth symptoms may experience symptoms from vaginal dryness related to the dryness due to either estrogen deficiency, an associated disorder such as interstitial cystitis, chemotherapy, radiotherapy or due to Sjogren’s Syndrome. These women may be more susceptible to candida genital infections and should be highly considered at annual physical exams. A variety of treatments for vaginal dryness are available, including moisturizers and lubricants; topical vaginal estrogens and hyaluronic acid vaginal creams. Patients with symptomatic vaginal dryness should be evaluated and treated in collaboration with an expert in gynecologic care. In patients with dyspareunia due to vaginal dryness, use of a lubricant by the patient's male partner may also be of benefit.
Treatment of dry skin is similar to the management of xerosis (excessive dry skin) in other medical conditions and includes the use of mild cleansers, skin moisturizers, and/or occlusive agents; the avoidance of excessive skin washing; and the use of a humidifier. Fragranced moisturizers and heavily fragranced cleansers should be avoided, as should use of oral antihistamines, when possible, because of their irritative and anticholinergic effects. We also advise patients to use sunblock, sunscreen, and sun-protective clothing for additional skin protection.
Book your free consultation with one of our specialists
Although the above general advice is very important not two patients are alike. If you are interested in a tailored plan, you are welcome to book your free consultation to discuss your dry mouth condition