Most everyone experiences a dry mouth now and again, but when it becomes more common than once in a while, it can be a real problem. If your senior is dealing with dry mouth, there are some things that you should know about the condition in order to help them.
What Is Dry Mouth?
Dry mouth happens when your elderly family member’s mouth isn’t producing enough saliva. She might let you know that her mouth feels dry all the time or you might notice some signs. One big sign could be that your senior’s mouth sounds dry when she’s trying to talk. She might also have chapped lips or have difficulty eating when she didn’t have that same trouble before.
What Causes Dry Mouth?
Many different issues can contribute to dry mouth. The most common cause is as a side effect of medications or medical treatments. Other causes could be taking in too much caffeine, smoking, or breathing through the mouth instead of the nose. If the places that your senior spends a lot of time have very low humidity, she’s also more likely to experience dry mouth.
Why Is Dry Mouth a Bad Thing?
Having a mouth that is too dry can be extremely bad for your senior. She might experience faster than normal tooth decay because her teeth aren’t as moist as they usually are. Mouth infections can also be more common for people who have dry mouth issues. Your elderly family member might not be able to eat very well, which can cause her to lose weight. Talking and swallowing might also become difficult.
What Can You Do?
The first thing you can do is to work with your senior’s doctor and dentist to work out a potential cause for the dry mouth. Increasing her water intake can help, as can setting up a humidifier nearby. Your elderly family member’s doctor can help you to find other solutions that are more specific to the cause of her dry mouth.
Once you have a plan that works, share it with the other people who might be helping your senior, such as other family members and elder care providers. That helps to ensure that everyone is aware of what to do.
If you or a loved one are looking for experienced elder care in Gainesville, VA, contact SenCura at 703-880-2547. Providing in-home senior care in Northern Virginia.