How to Combat Dry Mouth at Home
The saliva in our mouths acts as a natural cleanser. It helps wash away food debris and contains properties that neutralize acids, which lead to enamel wear and cavities if left untouched. So when we reduce the amount of saliva in our mouths, this increases the likelihood of developing cavities (dental caries).
You can ultimately help reduce dry mouth complications by staying hydrated and practicing good oral hygiene at home. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day and cleaning between your teeth with floss or a water flosser (also known as interdental cleaning) twice a day. Follow up with mouthwash to wash away any remaining bacteria. Did you know that dry mouth can lead to bad breath later on? That's just one more reason to keep up an excellent oral care routine that makes your breath fresh!
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to reduce dry mouth. They include the following:
- Stay hydrated and take sips of water throughout the day.
- Suck on sugarless candies
- Chew sugarless gum
- Use a humidifier at night.
- Avoid smoking, alcohol, caffeine, and other irritants.
- Drink water along with your meals
- Use a lip lubricant, like a lip moisturizer, every few hours.
- Try over-the-counter saliva substitutes like mouth sprays
You'll help your body prepare for cancer treatment by maintaining a robust oral health routine and seeing your dental professional for a checkup. By taking these steps, you should feel confident that you're doing everything you can to maintain a clean and strong smile!
It's best to speak with your dental professional to plan how often they would like to see you while undergoing cancer treatment. And keep up with the at-home preventive care listed above to stay hydrated. With these practices in place, rest assured you can mitigate the oral side effects of breast cancer treatment. They'll allow you to maintain optimum oral health well after your treatment is finished!