Dry mouth is a common issue among the elderly. For some, it is a side effect of medications used to treat hypertension, mood disorders, or allergies. For others, it is a symptom of an auto-immune condition like Sjogren's syndrome or lupus. If you're caring for an older loved one suffers from dry mouth, it's important not to ignore the issue since it increases the chances of gum disease, tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss. Here are three ways you can help your older loved one fight dry mouth.
Purchase them a mouthwash for dry mouth.
Visit a local pharmacy, and look for a mouthwash made for dry mouth sufferers. These washes serve several purposes. First, they contain ingredients that help moisten the oral tissues and stimulate saliva production. Second, they help kill oral bacteria, reducing your loved one's risk of gum disease and tooth decay. Make sure your loved one uses the mouthwash once you buy it. If they're not used to using mouthwash as a part of their oral hygiene routine, you may need to remind them to do so after brushing their teeth until they get used to doing so.
Take them to the dentist.
Make a dental appointment for your loved one, and make sure he or she gets to the dentist's office for the appointment. The dentist will assess your loved one's dental health and see if the ongoing dry mouth has caused any damage. If there is damage, the dentist can repair it. (This includes filling cavities and deep cleaning to fight gum disease.) If the dry mouth is severe, the dentist may recommend a medication to increase saliva production.
Find a sugar-free beverage that they love, and encourage drinking.
A lot of older people do not drink enough, and dehydration only makes dry mouth worse. Encouraging your loved one to drink more often will help keep the mouth moist and increase saliva production. Find a beverage that your loved one enjoys. Herbal teas, flavored (sugar-free) water, and seltzer water are all good choices. Also find a tumbler your loved one can drink from easily, and ensure he or she has a filled cup of this favorite beverage to sip throughout the day. Refresh the beverage for them periodically so they don't need to worry about this.
With the tips above, you can help keep your loved one's dry mouth from having severe effects on their dental health. Visit a dentist in your area like http://hcdentistryak.com/ to learn more.Share