Dry Mouth

Dry mouth (xerostomia) is a serious condition that can arise when there is a decrease in saliva flow in the mouth. Dry mouth is an important problem to address because it can put you at greater risk for cavities and oral infections, and lead to pain, discomfort, and difficulty swallowing.

WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT MY DRY MOUTH?

  • Visit your oral health professional, such as your dental hygienist, for preventive oral care and to discuss ways to reduce the impact of dry mouth. 
  • Brush your teeth and mouth daily, and clean in between your teeth.
  • Sip water frequently.
  • Use sugar-free chewing gum and/or lozenges.
  • Avoid foods and drinks that cause your mouth to dry (e.g., caffeine or spicy, acidic, and cinnamon-flavoured items).
  • Use lip lubricants and salivary replacements.
  • Schedule routine visits with your health care provider to closely monitor your health condition.
  • Reduce or discontinue tobacco use.

 

A healthy mouth is often a sign of a healthy body, and vice versa. In this section, learn more about how to keep your mouth and body healthy. Your Mouth, the Gateway to Your Body To understand how the mouth can affect the body, it helps to understand what can go wrong in the first place. Bacteria that builds up on teeth make gums prone to infection.

The immune system moves in to attack the infection and the gums become inflamed. The inflammation continues unless the infection is brought under control. Over time, inflammation and the chemicals it releases eat away at the gums and bone structure that hold teeth in place.

The result is severe gum disease, known as periodontitis. Inflammation can also cause problems in the rest of the body.

Dry mouth (xerostomia) is a serious condition that can arise when there is a decrease in saliva flow in the mouth. Dry mouth is an important problem to address because it can put you at greater risk for cavities and oral infections, and lead to pain, discomfort, and difficulty swallowing.

WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT MY DRY MOUTH?

  • Visit your oral health professional, such as your dental hygienist, for preventive oral care and to discuss ways to reduce the impact of dry mouth. 
  • Brush your teeth and mouth daily, and clean in between your teeth.
  • Sip water frequently.
  • Use sugar-free chewing gum and/or lozenges.
  • Avoid foods and drinks that cause your mouth to dry (e.g., caffeine or spicy, acidic, and cinnamon-flavoured items).
  • Use lip lubricants and salivary replacements.
  • Schedule routine visits with your health care provider to closely monitor your health condition.
  • Reduce or discontinue tobacco use.

 

A healthy mouth is often a sign of a healthy body, and vice versa. In this section, learn more about how to keep your mouth and body healthy. Your Mouth, the Gateway to Your Body To understand how the mouth can affect the body, it helps to understand what can go wrong in the first place. Bacteria that builds up on teeth make gums prone to infection.

The immune system moves in to attack the infection and the gums become inflamed. The inflammation continues unless the infection is brought under control. Over time, inflammation and the chemicals it releases eat away at the gums and bone structure that hold teeth in place.

The result is severe gum disease, known as periodontitis. Inflammation can also cause problems in the rest of the body.

Resources

Dry Mouth [ Information Sheet ]

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Talking points - The whole body requires oral health. [ Information Sheet ]

 

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