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Sunday, April 2, 2017

Tips for Living With Dry Mouth Sjogrens Awareness Month

As stated in my previous post, I have been living with dry mouth, for probably five years, or so. It is hard to pinpoint exactly when this began, but I know it was one of the more recent symptoms. At least as far as I noticed. I may have had it more years, and it just didn't bother me. Since I used to take a lot of allergy meds, I figured it was just a side effect from that. I will discuss meds at a later date, but since I mentioned allergies, Claritin is the only one I can take anymore due to kidney involvement. Always discuss meds with your doctor. A dry mouth can be very distracting, and even painful. A cracked tongue, damaged teeth, or swollen salivary glands can all be painful. My tips below are just that, tips, things I have done, and not to be taken as medical advice. Please always consult your physician, do not take my word for it. I research everything first, and then discuss with my doctor.

1. I almost always have a drink with me. I do not guzzle, just sip.

2. I no longer take Benadryl for allergies, unless they are severe, or I am suffering leg cramps at bed time. Benadryl, and other antihistamines have a drying up effect, and can make dry mouth much worse. A lot of people take Benadryl to sleep at night. If you suffer from dry mouth discuss with your doctor other alternatives for sleep. I use Melatonin now.

3. Carry hard candy, or lozenges with you. Because I have kidney involvement, I have to be sure there is not other things in the candy. Sugar free peppermints, don't even taste sugar free, so if you are diabetic they might be a good option. There are dry mouth lozenges, over the counter, that I also carry for severe dry mouth only. I do not want to get used to them. Rinse your mouth frequently, if needed, and of course brush and take care of your teeth. Biotin, is an over the counter mouth rinse for dry mouth. I alternate that with regular mouth wash, at least twice a day.

4. There are prescription medications as well. Speak to your doctor about them if you feel you would like them better, or if none of the other options seem to help.

5. Check out the Sjogrens website, for tips on massaging the parotids, using heat, and other great tips. I am leary of heat, personally, only because if you have an abscess tooth, but you think it is your parotids heat might not be a great idea. Discuss with your doctor to be sure.

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