When you have dry mouth, you have to be careful with your diet. Without adequate saliva, it is difficult to swallow certain foods. While you should talk to your dentist about medical treatments for your condition, you should also consider making the following changes to the way you eat and drink until your dry mouth symptoms subside.
Avoid Sugar, Salt, And Spices
Your teeth are normally bathed in saliva so that bacteria are kept under control. When you don't produce enough saliva to keep bacteria washed away, you are more susceptible to tooth decay. For that reason, you should avoid foods with too much sugar. Choose sugar-free options when you can. Salt should be limited too, since it dries your mouth and increases thirst. Spices may burn your mouth if they aren't diluted with enough saliva. Even if you're used to eating hot and spicy foods, you might not be able to tolerate them when you have dry mouth.
Sip Water During The Day And At Night
Water should be your beverage of choice since sugar in fruit juice can cause tooth decay and caffeine in tea and soft drinks can make your condition worse. Keep a glass or bottle of water handy so you can take small sips during the day. Keep water on your bedside table, so when you wake up with a dry mouth and throat, you can grab a sip of water without having to get out of bed.
You'll also need to take frequent sips with your meals so swallowing is easier. If you get tired of water, choose a beverage that is free of sugar and caffeine such as herbal tea. You can also try sucking on ice chips for a change of taste and texture.
Moisten Foods With Sauce Or Gravy
Meat is particularly difficult to eat when your mouth is dry. You can add moisture to it by adding gravy or sauce. Another idea is to make casseroles so your meat and vegetables are combined with a sauce that keeps them moist.
You should also avoid crackers, toast, and crusts unless you dip them in milk or sauce so they become soggy. When food is moist, it is much easier to swallow. Plus, there is less risk of damaging your gums. If you eat dry crackers when your mouth is dry, you could actually cut or scrape your gums and get a mouth sore.
Keep Gum And Hard Candy Within Reach
Chewing gum stimulates your salivary glands and sucking on sugar-free hard candy moistens your mouth. Carry these with you, so you can use them when your mouth is dry and you can't get a drink of water. Sucking on hard candy might help you make it through work, church, or a movie, without having to suffer with a dry mouth because it isn't convenient to sip water.
Making these dietary changes can help you manage your condition, but they won't cure it. You'll have to work with your dentist, like those at Family Dental Care, to uncover the cause of your problem first, and then he or she can develop a treatment plan that works best for you.