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How To Help Your Senior With Dry Mouth

Dry mouth, often known as cottonmouth, may cause major problems for seniors, such as gum disease, infections, and tooth damage and loss.
Personal Care at Home Burnsville, MN: Dry Mouth
Personal Care at Home Burnsville, MN: Dry Mouth

Dry mouth, often known as cottonmouth, may cause major problems for seniors, such as gum disease, infections, and tooth damage and loss. You may think that a dry mouth is no cause for concern, but the truth is if a senior is not paying attention to their hygiene or body, there can be dire consequences. 

 

If your senior is not able to do everyday tasks anymore like get dressed or meal prep, they may need a personal care at home provider to help. Not all seniors will want to rely on their adult children to help them with getting dressed, dental care, or personal hygiene. This is when personal care at home can come in handy and give you some relief when it comes to your aging parents. 

 

There are some ways to treat this condition at home, and it may be worth looking into if you have a parent who keeps complaining about dry mouth issues. Here are some ways to limit the issues, solve them, or work to find a solution. 

Opt For a Different Decongestant or None

Personal Care at Home Burnsville, MN: Dry Mouth
Personal Care at Home Burnsville, MN: Dry Mouth

Antihistamines and decongestants sold over the counter should be avoided. These have a drying effect on mucus discharges. A nasal spray may be a better solution for a senior struggling with allergies. 

Always Ask a Doctor 

Keeping a doctor informed on a senior’s dry mouth is one of the best ways to find a solution and avoid the problem in the future. A doctor may determine that it is a problem from one of their medications. They may change the prescription, or they may lower the dosage to see if it helps with a senior’s dry mouth. 

Talk To a Dentist

A primary care doctor may determine that the senior has a dry mouth from something they do not specialize in. If that is the case, the senior then needs to go to a dentist. It takes an entire team of professionals to keep a senior healthy. A dentist will help create a care plan to help battle dry mouth. 

A Senior May Need More Fluids

Increase your parents’ fluid consumption. Make sure your parent has a drink of water handy or that he or she is sucking on ice chips or sugarless Popsicles. Caffeine and alcohol, as well as alcohol-containing mouthwashes, should be avoided since they are both dehydrating.

Avoid Smoking

Smoking tobacco or marijuana makes the mucus membranes in your mouth more irritated. Unfortunately, encouraging your parents to stop this habit can be hard, especially if they’re in their final stages of life. They may wonder what the point is. 

Set Up a Humidifier In Their Room

In the winter, dry air in the home may aggravate sleep apnea and other breathing issues, particularly at night. Consider putting a whole-house humidifying system in your parent’s home, or if that is too expensive, utilize portable humidifiers, particularly in the bedroom.

Avoid Certain Foods

Salty or spicy foods can cause stomach issues but also incredibly dry mouths. It is best to avoid spicy or salty meals and instead opt for bitter greens, which encourage saliva flow.

If you or an aging loved-one is considering Personal Care at Home in Burnsville, MN please contact the caring staff at Great Oak Senior Care, Inc. today. (952) 767-4925

Keith Dahlen
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