Overview

When you contact your dental practice or Health Board for a dental appointment, you MUST tell them if you have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) OR you are currently self-isolating OR you have possible symptoms.

Dental practices have to comply with social distancing measures so please do not attend without having made an appointment first.

 

A dry mouth is rarely a sign of anything serious. There are things you can do to help ease it yourself.

What can cause a dry mouth?

  • dehydration – for example, from not drinking enough, sweating a lot or being ill
  • medicines – check the information leaflet to see if dry mouth is a side effect
  • breathing through your mouth at night – this can happen if you have a blocked nose or you sleep with your mouth open
  • anxiety
  • cancer treatment (radiotherapy or chemotherapy)

Sometimes a dry mouth that doesn't go away may be caused by a condition like diabetes or Sjögren's syndrome.

 

How to help ease a dry mouth yourself:

  • keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day and keep some water by your bed at night
  • suck on ice cubes
  • chew sugar-free gum
  • use lip balm if your lips are also dry
  • brush your teeth twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste
  • use an alcohol-free mouthwash at a different time to brushing
  • avoid alcohol, caffeine (such as tea and coffee) and fizzy drinks
  • avoid food that is acidic (like lemons), spicy, salty or sugary
  • consider giving up smoking. You can receive support by calling 0808 252 8216 or visiting www.helpmequit.wales

Do not stop taking prescribed medicine without getting advice from your GP first

A pharmacist can help if you have a dry mouth

Ask a pharmacist about treatments you can buy to help keep your mouth moist.

You can get:

  • gels
  • sprays
  • tablets or lozenges
  • decongestants can help to unblock your nose if mouth-breathing causes dry mouth

 

Are dental practices open if you need advice or treatment?

Yes, dental practices are open during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

If you have a dry mouth, call your dental practice for advice, particularly if:

  • your mouth is still dry after trying home or pharmacy treatments for a few weeks
  • you have difficulty chewing, swallowing or talking
  • your mouth is painful, red or swollen
  • you have sore white patches in your mouth
  • you think a prescribed medicine might be causing your dry mouth
  • you have other symptoms, like needing to urinate a lot or dry eyes

They will carry out remote consultation over the phone/video before seeing you in person in the practice if required.

If you do not have a regular dentist you need to call the appropriate dental helpline number for your Local Health Board area:

https://www.nhsdirect.wales.nhs.uk/localservices/dentistinformation/

Find a dentist near you.

^^ Back to top


The information on this page has been adapted by NHS Wales from original content supplied by NHS UK NHS website nhs.uk
Last Updated: 19/08/2020 11:54:45