Owners' Blog

Four Tips for Dealing with Dry Mouth

By Hilary and Greg Eldridge

Enough saliva is an important part of keeping your senior's mouth and teeth as healthy as possible. When her mouth is dry, she's likely uncomfortable and may even have a difficult time eating foods that are healthy. Try some of these suggestions for dealing with dry mouth when it shows up for your senior.

Talk to Your Senior's Dentist

One of the first things you might want to do when you realize that your senior is dealing with dry mouth is to talk to her dentist. Her dentist can rule out dental issues that might be contributing. Her dentist can also spot potential issues that are better handled by her doctor instead. If she's having trouble because of a particular dental problem, there might be some easy solutions that you can put into place immediately.

Check Your Senior's Hydration

Proper hydration can fix a lot of problems from digestive issues to skin dryness, but it can also help with dry mouth issues. If your elderly family member is still having trouble with dry mouth, start tracking her fluid intake. It's possible that she's not drinking quite enough water. Double check with her doctor to determine how much water your senior should be drinking.

Try Over-the-counter Remedies, Too

Some over-the-counter remedies can work, too. Many people find that sucking on hard candy or chewing mint gum can help to stimulate salivary glands. There are also special toothpastes and mouthwashes that are made to work like saliva does in your senior's mouth. These types of remedies are all excellent choices if there's no underlying medical cause for your aging adult's dry mouth.

Look into Other Causes

When you think you've exhausted all potential causes, there might still be a couple you didn't think about. For instance, lots of people who smoke find that they have dry mouth issues. Cutting back on smoking or better yet, quitting, can resolve the issue. Your senior might also be breathing with her mouth open more than she realizes, especially when she's asleep. Doing a little bit of detective work can help you to find these other causes.

Working with elderly care providers can help your senior to stay on top of techniques that help her with the dry mouth issues that she's having. They can remind her when it's time to drink and to eat, which can help immensely. They can also help her get to doctor or dentist appointments that involve relieving her dry mouth issues.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring elderly care in Duluth, GA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers, call (678) 430-8511.