Dry Mouth

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Nutrition Guidelines for Dry Mouth

A common side effect of many medications and therapies is dry mouth (xerostomia).

Radiation therapy to the mouth area, for example, can result in permanent damage to the salivary glands, decreasing the production of saliva and causing dry mouth.

Saliva is the mouth's self-cleansing mechanism. It bathes the teeth with protective minerals and neutralizes acids to help prevent cavities.

A reduced flow of saliva can have serious consequences, beginning with the buildup of plaque and food particles and including the development of bacterial, viral, and/or fungal growths, which can result in tooth decay and gum disease.

Because they do not receive the normal level of protection from saliva, people with dry mouth are very susceptible to cavities, especially at the roots of their teeth.

If you are experiencing dry mouth, the suggestions below may help to reduce dryness and make chewing and swallowing easier:

  • Add broth, butter, gravies, margarine, mayonnaise, salad dressings, sauces, sour cream, or whipping cream to dry foods.

  • If your mouth is dry but not sore, tart foods (dill pickles, frozen fruit bars, popsicles) and tart drinks (cranberry juices, sweetened iced tea with lemon, lemonade) may help you to produce more saliva.

  • Many sugar-free products -- chewing gum, soft drinks, sour candies -- can help to freshen your mouth and increase saliva production without promoting tooth decay. Also try breath spray.  Caution: Sugar-free candy and gum that is sweetened with sorbitol may cause diarrhea.

  • Increase your daily intake of fluids. If your condition is causing you to eat less, select drinks that provide plenty of calories, such as Carnation Instant Breakfast drink, fruit juices and punches, malts, milk (chocolate and regular), milkshakes, and sport drinks.

  • Ask your doctor about artificial-saliva drops.


The above opinionated views and information serves to educated and informed consumer .  The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. .It should not replaced professional advise and consultation.  A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions 

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