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13 Ways to Reduce the Risk of Dental Caries in Patients with Dry Mouth

Dental caries (cavities) are seen frequently in patients diagnosed with Dry Mouth. Nutritional counseling is important for the effective management of dry mouth and to stop dental caries. Dry mouth can be caused by mouth breathing, several medications, chemotherapy, radiation therapy around the head and neck region, certain diseases, conditions and syndromes such as Alzheimer’s disease, Diabetes, and Sjögren’s syndrome.

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Here are 13 ways to Reduce the Risk of Dental Caries in People with Dry Mouth:

  1. Drink plenty of sugar free fluids with meals to aid in chewing and swallowing.
  2. Avoid dry, crunchy foods that are difficult to swallow and can cause oral abrasion or difficulty in swallowing.
  3. Avoid acidic foods and beverages that can irritate oral tissues and contribute to enamel demineralization and dental caries.
  4. Avoid frequent intake of sugar containing foods.
  5. Consume a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids
  6. Drink tea for the beneficial effects of polyphenols
  7. Increase the intake of low-fat dairy products such as low-fat milk, cheese, and yogurt for their anticaries effect.
  8. Eliminate the use of slow dissolving sugar such as candy, mints or lozenges. Use sugarless candies or gum containing xylitol, which does not promote dental caries.
  9. Avoid alcohol, which can irritate the soft tissue in the mouth
  10. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages, which can cause dehydration and increase oral dryness.
  11. Take a daily multivitamin mineral supplement.
  12. Eat foods at moderate temperatures to avoid irritation to the oral tissues.
  13. If a liquid diet is indicated, see a registered dietitian for counseling to ensure adequate nutrition.

For further information on treating dry mouth, please come see Dr Murphy or Dr Shivji at Queen’s Park Dental.

References; General Dentistry May/June 2012 pg 188-189

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