Skip to main content
FYI - Partnering with you to create healthy smiles


Partnering with you to help create healthy smiles

This summer, educate patients about dry mouth

As the temperature rises during the summer, it’s important to remember to stay hydrated and keep cool. For dental patients, it’s also a good time to learn about dry mouth, its causes and effects, and what can be done about it.

Saliva helps keep mouths healthy

You know that saliva is the mouth’s primary defense against tooth decay, but patients may not be aware of how important it is to a healthy mouth. Saliva washes away food matter, neutralizes the acids produced by mouth bacteria and helps spread disease-fighting substances throughout the mouth. Without saliva present, extensive tooth decay can occur in patients’ mouths, and without staying hydrated, patients can have a hard time maintaining enough saliva in their mouths.

Dry mouth isn’t a disease

Patients might think that dry mouth is a condition that needs to be treated with a medical intervention. Explain to them it’s actually a symptom of an underlying condition, like Sjögren’s syndrome, or a possible side-effect of medications like antihistamines, decongestants and others. If their dry mouth is being caused by dehydration, fixing it could be as simple as drinking more water or being sure to get enough elecrolytes from their food and beverages.

Dry mouth can be treated simply and effectively

For milder cases of dry mouth, the solution can be as simple as chewing some sugar-free gum or nibbling on sugar-free candy. These can help to stimulate saliva flow. Encouraging patients to drink enough water and avoid sugary drinks or diuretics like coffee and alcohol can help them stay hydrated, too. For more serious cases, moisture in the mouth can be replaced with artificial saliva or oral rinses.