Sore or Dry Mouth Care

ExitCare ImageA sore or dry mouth may happen for many different reasons. Sometimes, treatment for other health problems may have to stop until your sore or dry mouth gets better.


  • Do not smoke or chew tobacco.

  • Use fake (artificial) saliva when your mouth feels dry.

  • Use a humidifier in your bedroom at night.

  • Eat small meals and snacks.

  • Eat food cold or at room temperature.

  • Suck on ice-chips or try frozen ice pops or juice bars, ice-cream, and watermelon. Do not have citrus flavors.

  • Suck on hard, sugarless, sour candy, or chew sugarless gum to help make more saliva.

  • Eat soft foods such as yogurt, bananas, canned fruit, mashed potatoes, oatmeal, rice, eggs, cottage cheese, macaroni and cheese, jello, and pudding.

  • Microwave vegetables and fruits to soften them.

  • Puree cooked food in a blender if needed.

  • Make dry food moist by using olive oil, gravy, or mild sauces. Dip foods in liquids.

  • Keep a glass of water or squirt bottle nearby. Take sips often throughout the day.

  • Limit caffeine.

  • Avoid:

  • Pop or fizzy drinks.

  • Alcohol.

  • Citrus juices.

  • Acidic food.

  • Salty or spicy food.

  • Foods or drinks that are very hot.

  • Hard or crunchy food.

Mouth Care

  • Wash your hands well with soap and water before doing mouth care.

  • Use fake saliva as told by your doctor.

  • Use medicine on the sore places.

  • Brush your teeth at least 2 times a day. Brush after each meal if possible. Rinse your mouth with water after each meal and after drinking a sweet drink.

  • Brush slowly and gently in small circles. Do not brush side-to-side.

  • Use regular toothpastes, but stay away from ones that have sodium laurel sulfate in them.

  • Gargle with a baking soda mouthwash (½ teaspoon baking soda mixed in with 4 cups of water).

  • Gargle with medicated mouthwash.

  • Use dental floss or dental tape to clean between your teeth every day.

  • Use a lanolin-based lip balm to keep your lips from getting dry.

  • If you wear dentures or bridges:

  • You may need to leave them out until your doctor tells you to start wearing them again.

  • Take them out at night if you wear them daily. Soak them in warm water or denture solution. Take your dentures out as much as you can during the day. Take them out when you use mouthwash.

  • After each meal, brush your gums gently with a soft brush and rinse your mouth with water.

  • If your dentures rub on your gums and cause a sore spot, have your dentist check and fix your dentures right away.


  • Your mouth gets more painful or dry.

  • You have questions.


  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.