Dry mouth means simply absent or reduced saliva. It can affect anyone and is more common in older people and women. It can be caused by certain diseases, including diabetes and HIV and Sjogren’s syndrome, a rare autoimmune disease and cancer treatment.
The most likely cause is medication. More than 400 prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines state dry mouth as a possible side-effect, including medication for allergies, asthma, colds, depression, epilepsy, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and urinary incontinence.
A lack of saliva makes swallowing, and even talking, difficult. In severe cases dry mouth sufferers can become malnourished; lips can become dry and cracked. Saliva is the body’s way of keeping the mouth clean, so there are serious oral health implications for dry mouth sufferers. Plaque and bacteria build-up more quickly without saliva to wash them away, making bad breath, gum disease and dental decay very likely.
Rehydrating the mouth is the number one priority. Drinking water will give temporary relief, and chewing gum can stimulate saliva flow. For longer term management try new Sunstar GUM Hydral Moisturising Gel and Moisturising Spray. They effectively lubricate oral tissues, soothe irritation, promote soft tissue repair and create a protective coating in the mouth, giving longer lasting relief. You can use them as often as needed and they are convenient to use at home and on-the-go. With a gentle spearmint flavour and no irritants (alcohol, parabens, sodium lauryl sulphate, glycerine or sugar), Hydral leaves the mouth feeling hydrated and fresh.
“Extra special attention should be given to oral care routine, because of the high risk of dental caries and gum disease,” says Dirna Grobbelaar, Ivohealth’s oral hygiene expert. “Brush teeth properly at least twice a day, using a soft toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste. Clean in-between daily, using floss or any of Sunstar GUM’s excellent interdental tools. Then rinse with an alcohol-free mouthwash, like Dentyl Active.”
Grobbelaar recommends avoiding caffeinated or sugary foods and drinks. “Drink water frequently.”
“Smoking is a big no-no for everyone, and even more so if you suffer from dry mouth. And the same goes for alcoholic drinks, as they also cause dehydration.”
Try sleeping in a room with a humidifier. Apply Sunstar GUM Hydral Moisturising Gel just before turning out the light to help alleviate dry mouth during the night.
Don’t ignore dry mouth symptoms. Rather consult your doctor for a diagnosis and schedule a check-up with your dental professional to help keep your mouth in good health.
Symptoms of Dry Mouth
- Burning sensation on the tongue
- Dry, cracked lips, especially the corners of the mouth
- Bad breath
- Impaired taste
Causes of Dry Mouth
- DRUGS OR MEDICATION
- SALIVARY GLAND DISEASE
- CHRONIC DISEASES
- NERVE DAMAGE
- HORMONAL FLUCTUATIONS
- BREATHING THROUGH THE MOUTH
- EATING DISORDERS
Management of dry mouth
- Consult your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment plan
- Follow a meticulous daily oral care routine with regular dental check-ups
- Use Sunstar GUM Hydral Moisturising Gel and Spray to alleviate
symptoms and give long-lasting relief
- Drink plenty of water, sipping frequently
- Chew sugar-free gum for temporary relief