There are many reasons that senior citizens are more prone to dry mouth, including taking certain medications and wearing dentures overnight. No matter how old you are, though, the uncomfortable condition is more common in the summer. The good news is, making some easy lifestyle changes is usually enough to relieve dry mouth symptoms.

Check out our suggestions in this blog post. If you’re still experiencing issues, call Rod Eccles, DDS at 317-682-0884 for treatment in Plainfield, IN.

Dry mouth is caused by a shortage of saliva. You probably don’t give it much thought, but saliva helps keep your mouth free of cavities and gum disease by rinsing away bacteria and food debris. It’s good for your overall health as well as your oral health, as it also aids digestion.

All of us have a mouth that feels dry some of the time. But the condition may cause problems if you experience some of these other dry mouth symptoms:

  • Chronic bad breath
  • Difficulty keeping dentures in your mouth
  • Infections in your mouth, such as thrush
  • Difficulty chewing and swallowing
  • Sticky and/or stringy saliva
  • Dry and/or cracked lips

Drink Plenty of Water to Alleviate Dry Mouth Symptoms

So what can you do to alleviate dry mouth symptoms? One of the easiest and most effective tips is to drink more water. Saliva is 99 percent water, so drinking more of it is the best way to replenish it. We advise consuming at least two liters of water a day in summer months, when you are perspiring more than usual.

While two liters sounds like a lot, you probably won’t find it too hard if you follow our suggestions:

  • Drink water with your meals. Drink water instead of other liquids with your meals. To fight dry mouth and also drop some pounds, consider drinking a glass of water before you start eating. You will feel full sooner, so you’ll consume fewer calories.
  • Always keep water on hand. Keep water within your reach. Put it in places such as in your car and next to your bed, so you can easily grab it when you feel thirsty.
  • Consume fruits and veggies. Fresh fruits and vegetables contain lots of water, so they can provide a good part of your recommended daily amount. Munch on celery, apples, melon, and cucumber when you feel hungry. Bonus: they are also packed with vitamins and other nutrients.
  • Dilute other drinks. Water is a healthier choice than lemonade, tea, or soda. But diluting them with water or lots of ice will boost your water intake.

Other Ways to Ease Your Dry Mouth Symptoms

Increasing your water intake may be enough to ease your dry mouth symptoms. But you can try some of our other tips too:

  • Check chlorine levels in your pool. Chlorine dries out your mouth, as well as your hair and skin. Many people over chlorinate their pool water. A Ph level of about 7.5, keeps water clean without drying out your mouth. Lower your level if it’s higher than that. 
  • Cut out the caffeine. Caffeine has a diuretic effect. So drink as little of it as possible. When you do have beverages like coffee, soda, and tea, choose caffeine-free versions. 
  • Switch your mouthwash. Mouthwashes that contain alcohol will dry out your mouth. Look for ones without alcohol as an ingredient. Your best choice will be a mouthwash that contains xylitol, a substance that increases saliva production. 
  • Keep the air moist. Run a humidifier overnight to add moisture to the air as you sleep. 
  • Suck on hard candy. Sucking on mints or other hard candy encourages saliva production. Again, candies that contain xylitol are an especially good choice. You’ll get a similar saliva boost from chewing sugarless gum. 

Dry mouth symptoms don’t have to be a big deal. If dry mouth is a chronic issue for you, Dr. Eccles can suggest products to help. To make an appointment for your next exam or another dental service, call us today at 317-682-0884.