You may have noticed that your mouth is drier after eating certain foods or drinking certain beverages. Indeed, some foods have irritating effects on the mucous membranes of the mouth or react directly with saliva, leaving the mouth drier.
In addition, the way food is cooked or the temperature at which it is eaten also influences the increased dryness of the mouth.l.
In this article we talk about some foods and drinks that make dry mouth worse.
Drinking alcohol causes dry mouth. In addition to causing general dehydration of the body (including the mouth), alcohol irritates the mucous membranes of the oral cavity and also affects the nervous system which, among other things, regulates salivation.
Remember that the simple fact of being dehydrated is enough to make the mucous membranes of the mouth dry and reduce salivation.
Red wine, in addition to alcohol, contains tannins, which are astringent substances (they cause dryness) and therefore increase dry mouth.
On contact with the mucous membranes of the mouth, tannins react with the proteins in saliva and inhibit its lubricating effect. Tannins are more abundant in red wines than in white wines.
Tannins are not only found in wine, but also in other foods and drinks such as tea, coffee, spinach and in some fruits such as grapes, pomegranate, persimmon, quince or even apples (when the pulp is peeled and oxidised, tannins appear).
Coffee and tea
Coffee has a diuretic effect on the body. Too much coffee can cause dehydration, but only if more than four cups of coffee are consumed.
For people with dry mouth, the diuretic effect is compounded by the irritant effect coffee has on the mucous membranes.
Coffee and tea also contain tannins. In the case of tea, the longer the tea is left to brew, the higher the tannin content increases.
Chocolate is also not the ideal food for people with dry mouth because it contains caffeine and tannins, especially the higher the percentage of cocoa.
Types of foods that make dry mouth worse:
In general, people with dry mouth should avoid the following types of food:
Very spicy foods irritate the mucous membranes of the mouth. If you want your food to have more flavour, it is preferable to cook with aromatic herbs rather than hot spices.
Salted or grilled foods
Excessively salty foods such as salted or smoked foods, or foods cooked directly over a fire or grill can irritate the mucous membranes of the mouth, causing dry mouth.
Acidic foods unbalance the pH of the mouth and, as people with dry mouth do not have enough saliva to re-balance the acidity of the mouth, they can lead to erosion of tooth enamel and tooth decay.
People with dry mouth should avoid foods that can stick to the teeth.
Although they may not look like it, bread, pasta and chips could be considered sticky because they are starchy and stick to the teeth. If foods high in carbohydrates or sugar get stuck around the teeth, they can cause plaque and tooth decay.