Dry mouth can be extremely uncomfortable and it can lead to tooth decay and other issues that your senior likely wants to avoid. Getting her the right help can make the situation much easier to manage.
Talk with Her Doctor and Dentist
The first big step to take is to talk with both your senior’s doctor and her dentist. There are a variety of reasons that your aging family member could be experiencing issues with dry mouth, so it’s a good idea to tackle it from as many angles as possible. Once you’ve got a medical and dental opinion on the situation, you’ll know whether there are any major stumbling blocks you and your senior need to overcome first. Some causes, such as side effects from medications, you may simply have to work around.
Rinsing Her Mouth Can Help
Some aging adults who have dry mouth issues find that rinsing their mouths frequently, whether with water or with saliva substitute products, can help quite a bit. Your elderly family member may even want to use special toothpaste or mouthwash that is designed for people who have dry mouth issues. Just a few quick swishes of water or a saliva substitute might be enough to help her for hours at a time.
Certain Foods Might Make it Worse
They might not be the cause of your senior’s dry mouth issues, but dry foods can make the situation worse. The reason for this is that the dry foods pulls some of the little bit of saliva your senior has into the food. Salty foods can do a bit of the same thing because of the higher salt content in the food. If your aging family member is swallowing much of her saliva instead of being able to use it lubricate her mouth, that’s going to contribute, too.
Increasing Water Intake Can Help
It’s possible that your elderly family member just needs a little bit of extra hydration every day. In fact, her doctor might recommend that you up her water intake as a first step. Try to track how much your elderly family member is drinking now so that you can get a good idea how much more water she should drink according to her doctor.
You may need to try a combination of different tactics to help your senior with her dry mouth issues. Having a variety of tools available can help you as well as other family members and home care providers meet your senior’s needs at a moment’s notice.
When you are in need of care for a senior loved one, consider caregivers provided by Golden Heart Senior Care. We have offices nationwide. For more information, call us today at (800) 601-2792.