7 Tips for Dealing with Dry Mouth in the Winter

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7 Tips for Dealing with Dry Mouth in the Winter

Cold, dry winter air often makes dry mouth symptoms unbearable. Luckily, there are plenty of remedies you can try to get some relief from dry mouth any time of the year. Here are seven ways you can treat dry mouth at home. 

What Does Cold Weather Have to Do with Dry Mouth?

Dry mouth can happen any time of year, typically as a side effect of certain medications or medical conditions. But dry mouth often gets worse during the winter months. Although cold weather doesn’t cause dry mouth directly, it can worsen your symptoms.  

That’s because the cold, dry air makes it more difficult for your mouth to stay moist, especially if you frequently breathe through your mouth. Having a cold or allergies is also more common in the winter months, which may lead to the need for mouth breathing.

Seven Remedies for Winter Dry Mouth

1: Drink More Water

You can help your body produce more saliva in the winter by staying hydrated. Drinking water with meals also helps flush food particles out of your mouth so bacteria can’t feed on them. Carry a bottle of water with you to make it more convenient to stay hydrated. 

On average, adults should drink about 8 glasses of water a day. However, you may need more or less depending on your exercise habits, overall health, and other factors. Speak with your doctor to determine how much daily water intake is right for you. 

2: Eat Foods with High Water Content

Eating foods that have a high water content can also help keep you hydrated, especially if you have trouble drinking enough water. Cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, celery, and apples are some examples of hydrating foods.

Low-sodium soups, stews, and broths are also good winter foods that can help keep your mouth moist. You can even moisten dry foods like bread and crackers with broth—this makes them easier to swallow while improving hydration.   

3: Use a Humidifier

Dry mouth at night is a common problem in winter due to the dry air. If you tend to wake up with dry mouth symptoms, try using a humidifier while you sleep to moisten the air. It can help clear up nasal congestion, so you’re less likely to breathe through your mouth while you’re asleep.

4: Avoid Alcohol, Caffeine, and Acidic Foods

Changing your diet can help reduce your dry mouth symptoms. For instance, you should avoid acidic fruits and drinks, like citrus fruits and juices, which can dry out your mouth.  

Caffeinated and alcoholic drinks have diuretic effects, meaning they cause your body to get rid of water. You should limit or avoid coffee, caffeinated soft drinks, wine, beer, etc. to find relief. Even the alcohol in mouthwash can cause dry mouth, so it’s best to choose an alcohol-free rinse. 

5: Stop Using Tobacco

Smoking, vaping, and chewing tobacco can cause a variety of oral health problems. Quitting tobacco products can help you find relief from dry mouth and will also preserve the health of your teeth and gums. 

6: Suck on Sugar-Free Lozenges

Another way to keep your mouth moist for long periods of time is to suck on sugar-free candy or chew sugar-free gum. Lozenges and chewing gum can both help promote saliva production. However, it’s essential that you choose sugarless options to reduce the risk of cavities. 

7: Brush and Floss Your Teeth

Your mouth is extra vulnerable to tooth decay when you suffer from dry mouth, because it can’t use saliva as a natural defense. Plus, poor oral hygiene can worsen dry mouth symptoms by creating a bacterial buildup that causes inflammation and restricts saliva production. 

Make sure to brush your teeth using a soft-bristled toothbrush twice a day for two minutes at a time, and floss once a day. If you have trouble keeping your mouth moist after eating, it’s a good idea to brush your teeth between meals. Just wait at least 30 minutes after eating or drinking anything acidic, because the high acidity softens your enamel for a short amount of time. 

Dental Cleanings in Sun Lakes, Arizona

If you suffer from dry mouth all year round, you may need more frequent dental cleanings to get rid of plaque and tartar. Drs. Saba and Romanin provide gentle cleanings for adults in the Sun Lakes area. We would be happy to answer any questions you have about how to treat dry mouth. Call us at 480-895-2111 today to schedule an appointment.

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (12/2/2022). Photo by Barbara Olsen on Pexels