Dry mouth can happen from chemotherapy, radiation, medications, or all of the above. Saliva glands can be affected by these and it can result in poor production of saliva. Saliva production may stop or it may become thick, sticky, or stringy. This can make swallowing very difficult!
Start with increasing your fluids to 8-10 cups per day. Be sure to take a water bottle with you when you leave the house.
If you have thick saliva, very sour or sweet foods can stimulate saliva. Try adding lemon slices to your water.
You can chew gum or suck at sugarless candy to stimulate saliva, as well.
Avoid caffeine because this can increase dryness.
RECAP & EXTRA TIPS:
- Drink lots of fluids throughout the day
- Keep water near by
- Rinse mouth before and after meals
- Avoid using rinses with alcohol in them as they can dry out mouth even more
- Avoid caffeine, which can increase dry mouth
- Moisten foods with gravy, broth, sauces, and butter
- Stimulate saliva secretions with citrus foods, sour candies, and chewing gum
- Try refrigerating or freezing foods, like frozen grapes