Tips for Managing Dry Mouth

Dry mouth, known as xerostomia to doctors, is a condition that occurs when the salivary glands don’t produce enough saliva to keep the mouth wet. In addition to being uncomfortable, seniors who suffer from this problem can also have trouble eating and speaking. Dry mouth can be caused by medications or an underlying problem, so it’s a good idea to have your aging relative checked out by a doctor if they are experiencing this issue. However, once you’ve determined the cause and taken appropriate steps to treat it, there are also some things you can do at home to help the older adult manage dry mouth, such as the tips presented below.

 

Stay Hydrated

Elderly Care Jupiter, FL: Dry Mouth and Seniors

To produce saliva, the body needs water. If the older adult isn’t drinking enough, there’s less water available for the salivary glands to use. Plus, water can help to alleviate that dry feeling. Encourage your aging relative to drink water throughout the day. If they prefer a little more flavor in their beverages, try making infused water with fresh slices of lemon, strawberries, or other favorite fruits. Cucumbers also make a refreshing choice.

Elderly care providers can help seniors to drink more during the day by making sure they have a glass of water or water bottle near them at all times. Elderly care providers can also prepare pitchers of infused water and other beverages.

 

Sugar-Free Gum or Candy
Sucking on candy or chewing gum prompts the salivary glands to produce more saliva. If the xylitol in the gum or candy upsets the older adult’s stomach, try having them suck on a lemon rind instead. Avoid offering sugary candies that can contribute to obesity.

Seniors with arthritic hands may have trouble unwrapping candies or gum. An elderly care provider can assist with removing wrappers.

 

Switch the Senior’s Mouthwash
If the older adult is using a mouthwash that contains alcohol, switch to a different brand. Alcohol contributes to dryness. Look for a mouthwash that is designed for people who have dry mouth.

Elderly care providers can assist older adults with oral care, including brushing their teeth and rinsing with mouthwash.

 

Use a Humidifier
If the air inside the house is dry, breathing it in can make the mouth dryer. Keep a humidifier running to add moisture to the air. It can be especially helpful to use a humidifier in the bedroom while the senior is sleeping since they are more likely to breathe through their mouth while asleep.

Elderly care providers can assist with refilling and cleaning humidifiers to ensure air stays moist without the risk of spreading mildew spores.

 

If you or an aging loved one are considering Elderly Care in Jupiter, FL, please call the caring staff at Activa Home Health Care at (561) 819-4112.Serving Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Wellington, Jupiter, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Lauderhill, Coral Springs, Pompano Beach and surrounding communities.

 

Sources

10 Dry Mouth Remedies


https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dry-mouth/expert-answers/dry-mouth/faq-20058424
https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/dry-mouth/dry-mouth-home-remedies-0216

 

 

 

 

 

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