Top Tips - Managing a dry mouth for people with swallowing problems

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13 March 2017

A dry mouth can be an uncomfortable reality for a lot of patients with dysphagia - read our top tips on how best to manage it

Part of our Top Tips series for dysphagia management

Tips For Managing A Dry Mouth

• Always take fluids or non-alcoholic drinks with meals (thickened to the correct consistency)

• Avoid anything that may worsen dryness, such as drinking alcohol and caffeinated drinks, smoking cigarettes and breathing through the mouth

• Sip fluids throughout the day. Keep fluids by your bedside

• Replace saliva with salivary substitutes e.g. Glandosane, BioXtra Moisturising Gel

• Avoid spicy, dry or hard crunchy foods such as biscuits

• Minimise your intake of salty foods as they may cause pain in a dry mouth

• Eat soft creamy foods such as casseroles and soups

• Moisten foods with gravies, sauces, extra oil, margarine, butter, salad dressings, mayonnaise or yoghurt

• Pineapple juice has enzymes that can help clean the mouth. Check with your Speech and Language Therapist that this texture is appropriate

• Protect against dental caries/decay by brushing teeth and gums regularly

• Avoid sticky foods such as toffee

• Use fluoride toothpaste

• Use a fluoride, alcohol free mouthwash

• Have regular dental check-ups

• If the air in your home feels dry, try using a humidifier or place a pot/bowl of water near the heat source to help moisten the air (the humidifier and pot of water should be cleaned on a regular basis)

• Stimulate the production of saliva by chewing sugar-free gum or rubbing a cotton bud dipped in lemon juice under the tongue: Check with your Speech and Language Therapist that this is appropriate

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