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Q: What are some common reliefs for dry mouth?

Posted December 04, 2013 in Advice Column, Perry

A: There are many ways to relieve dry mouth including products that you can purchase over the counter. Some things that you can do to provide relief are to sip room temperature water. Chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free candies. By doing this it stimulates saliva flow and provides moisture. You can also use a night time humidifier.

Things to avoid are sugared and carbonated beverages. These can be drying to the mouth. Beverages with caffeine can also inhibit saliva flow and should only be used occasionally. Smoking and using alcoholic beverages are both drying and can increase the risk of gum disease. There are many over-the-counter products that can be purchased at your local pharmacy. Biotene is a popular product. It is available in gum, mints, sprays, gels rinses, and toothpastes. All products can be used several times daily. ACT for dry mouth is a rinse that can be used to relieve dry mouth and provides the benefit of fluoride to reduce the risk of cavities. Cavities often increase with dry mouth due to lack of saliva as a buffer. Always make sure to contact your dental professional if you think you have dry mouth, and make sure to get regular checkups.

Information provided by Dr. Rob Swanson, Swanson Dental, 2423 Willis Ave., Perry, (515) 465-5170.

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