There are several etiologies for dry mouth, including medications and cancer therapy such as radiation treatment to the head and neck or high dose chemotherapy. Dry mouth may be extremely uncomfortable and knowing which foods to eat and which foods to avoid can help alleviate some of the pain and discomfort associated with dry mouth.
1. Sharp and crunchy foods. Avoid crunchy breads such as baguettes, chips, or pizza crusts. These foods can scrape or cut your mouth and may be extremely difficult to swallow with reduced salivary flow.
2. Spicy foods. Spicy foods may feel extremely caustic to mucosa that is not moist. Additionally, without the bathing action of saliva, the feeling of spicyness may linger for a longer period of time than it would if you did not experience dry mouth.
3. Acidic foods. Acidic foods are not only caustic and may irritate your mouth, but they also increase your risk of developing dental decay (cavities). By lowering the pH in your mouth, acidic foods promote an environment for tooth demineralization. In other words, the minerals of the tooth leach out into the saliva leading to cavities.
4. Sugary foods.This may sound obvious since this advice is from a dentist, but with dry mouth and reduced salivary flow, your risk of developing dental decay (cavities) is increased. Thus, avoiding foods that are high in sugar is recommended to help prevent caries (cavities).
5. Crackers and pretzels. Crackers and pretzels are sharp and can easily cut your mucosa. Additionally, with reduced salivary flow, they may be difficult to swallow.
6. Alcoholic drinks or mouthwashes containing alcohol. Alcohol will just dry your mouth even more.
7. Extremely hot foods. Hot foods are difficult to tolerate with dry mouth.
8. Sour foods. Just like acidic foods, sour foods may promote the development of decay by lowering the pH and encouraging tooth demineralization.