The reduction of saliva production in seniors causes a condition commonly known as “dry mouth” or “cotton mouth” in approximately 20 percent of elderly people…

Try: The reduction of saliva production in seniors causes a condition commonly known as "dry mouth" or "cotton mouth" in approximately 20 percent of elderly people problems that are linked to dry mouth difficulty speaking hoarseness persistent sore throat problems with swallowing burning sensations in the mouth dry nasal passages difficulty wearing dentures tooth decay and loss mouth infections and gum disease recommendations to prevent and help dry mouth encourage the care recipient to implement the following recommendations to prevent and help dry mouth; avoid over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants which tend to dry out mucus secretions saline nasal sprays work better; some prescription medications also have the side effect of "dry mouth " ask if there may be a possibility of a lower dose or a different drug being used; schedule regular visits for dental care an elderly individual may not realize that he or she has "dry mouth" and may miss the warning signs of infections dentists may recommend a power toothbrush or mouthwash that has high fluoride content; increase fluid intake always have a glass of water nearby to sip on sugar-free popsicles and ice chips may also be used; eliminate caffeine and alcohol even mouthwashes may contain alcohol these are dehydrating; drinking green chamomile or ginger tea may boost saliva production; sucking on sugar-free candies or chewing sugar-free gum can also improve saliva flow; have a small spray bottle handy to spray water into the mouth when it feels dry this provides a way to add moisture to the mouth; make a habit of trying to breathe through the nose rather than through the mouth; the production of saliva is decreased by smoking tobacco or marijuana; use a humidifier to provide extra moisture in the room; look for mints and or lozenges that are made specifically to relieve "dry mouth "; foods that are high in spices salt or acids contribute to drying out the mouth; foods that have a bitter taste tend to stimulate saliva flow; try to brush the teeth and rinse the mouth after every meal if possible to create a less friendly area for bacterial growth use a tooth paste that has baking soda or other ingredients that will help the mouth’s a healthier ph balance; look for oral moisturizers or salivary substitutes at drugstores or pharmacies these come in gels sprays and rinses information references adapted from www agingcare com and www aboutdentalcare com

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*This information is listed as a Fact Sheet and is not explicitly medically licensed

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