As a caregiver, your top priority is promoting your loved one’s well-being. If you’re caring for a family member who suffers with Dry Mouth, you’re probably looking for ways to help ease their discomfort. Luckily, there are many home remedies available, as well as products you can buy over the counter.
It’s important to know that your loved one isn’t alone. Dry Mouth, or Xerostomia, is a common condition affecting up to 1 in 5 adults in the USA. The elderly and patients with serious and long-term illnesses, such as cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and COPD, are particularly vulnerable. Family members and caregivers should be aware of the problem and know what to look for. Identifying the issue is the first step in helping to solve it.
Common Dry Mouth symptoms and what to do about them
Dry Mouth can cause a range of uncomfortable symptoms, but they can usually be managed fairly well. Here are some of the most common, along with simple remedies to try. If your loved one exhibits any of the following symptoms, they may be suffering from Dry Mouth:
- They’re frequently thirsty
- They repeatedly smack their lips
- Their tongue is dry or grooved
- They have chapped lips
- They suffer from halitosis, or bad breath
- They wake up at night feeling thirsty
- They have problems speaking
- It’s difficult for them to swallow or eat dry foods
- They complain of a changed sense of taste
- They’re having problems wearing their dentures
- Their lipstick tends to stick to their teeth
As their caregiver, you naturally want to help. So what can you do if your loved one exhibits Dry Mouth symptoms? Here are a few tips & tricks:
- Limit their caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol – they are known to increase mouth dryness. Marijuana, sometimes used alongside cancer treatments, can cause Dry Mouth.
- Use a room humidifier – dry air will make Dry Mouth worse. Experts recommend you aim to keep humidity levels between 30-50%.
- Remind them to breathe through their nose – this will help keep their mouth moist, as breathing through their mouth can dry it out.
- Talk to their doctor – they may switch them onto an alternative medication or adjust the dosage if necessary or possible.
- Speak with their dentist or hygienist – Dry Mouth, along with poor oral hygiene, can lead to mouth infections. Reduced saliva will also leave them more vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease.
In addition to these simple remedies, over-the-counter solutions are readily available to provide long-lasting Dry Mouth management. Biotène is the #1 dentist-recommended Dry Mouth brand. Biotène Oral Rinse, Oralbalance Gel, and Moisturizing Spray are part of an extensive range of moisturizing products designed to ease Dry Mouth symptoms. They’ll help you care for your loved one and make it easier for them to enjoy their days and sleep better at night. Which means that, as a caregiver, so will you.