Home Remedies for Dry Mouth

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An underlying condition or lifestyle habits can make the inside of your mouth feel like a desert. This unusual dryness is a common problem that affects people of all ages. To make matters worse, the dryness can trigger other health issues and concerns. Luckily, many people can easily take advantage of home remedies for dry mouth.

What is Dry Mouth?

Dry mouth (also known as ‘xerostomia’ in medical circles) is a condition that causes your oral cavity to become overly dry. The issue is common, but can lead to other complications in your health. Besides not being able to fully enjoy your food, dry mouth can affect your teeth. When you have reduced or no saliva in your mouth, you face increased chances of tooth decay, bacterial growth, and digestion problems [1].

Causes and Symptoms

The following factors contribute to the development of dry mouth:

• Medications: There are hundreds of medications that list dry mouth as one of their side effects, including some over-the-counter drugs, such as decongestants, antihistamines, and anti-diarrhea pills. Other common culprits are high blood pressure medications, muscle relaxants, and drugs that treat anxiety and depression.

• Your Age: The older you get, the more likely you are to take medications that lead to dry mouth. Also, the elderly face other health issues that can cause dry mouth.

• Cancer Drugs and Radiation [2]: Chemotherapy drugs not only alter your saliva, but also affect the amount your body produces. If you undergo radiation treatments to the head and neck, your salivary glands may suffer and produce less saliva.

• Damage to Nerves: If you suffer an injury or surgery to the head or neck, resulting nerve damage can cause dry mouth.

• Health Conditions: Some health issues can cause dry mouth, such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, HIV/AIDS, anxiety disorders and depression.

• Lifestyle Habits: If you snore, breathe with your mouth open, smoke cigarettes, or chew tobacco, your chances of suffering dry mouth increases. Snoring and breathing with your mouth open also can contribute to the problem.

When you suffer from dry mouth and do not produce enough saliva, you may exhibit the following signs and symptoms:

• Thick and stringy saliva
• Bad breathe
• Trouble speaking and swallowing
• Sore throat
• A change in your sense of taste
• Fungal infection in your mouth
• Plaque, tooth decay and gum disease
• The corners of the mouth are split or with sores
• Women with dry mouth may have lipstick that sticks to their teeth

Dry Mouth Home Remedies

Since dry mouth can cause other health complications with your lips, gums, teeth and breath, it is suggested to become acquainted with home remedies for dry mouth. Below you will find a few ways to treat and prevent symptoms:

a) Sugar-free Products:

Sugary and acidic foods and candies can increase the risk of tooth decay for a person with dry mouth. Opt for sugar-free gum and candy when you’re craving a sweet treat.

a) Limit Your Coffee Intake:

Since caffeine makes your mouth drier, it is suggested to limit the amount of coffee you drink throughout the day.

b) Parsley:

To treat bad breath that comes with dry mouth, chew on fresh parsley sprigs, which also supply the body with calcium, iron, as well as vitamins A and C.

c) Choice of Toothpaste:

When brushing your teeth, opt for a brand of toothpaste that contains fluoride.

d) Choice of Mouthwash:

Choose a mouthwash that doesn’t contain alcohol to avoid the drying effects it produces in the mouth.

e) Fluoride Products:

Using products that contain fluoride right before going to bed, such as rinses and gel formulas, can help with the issues that accompany dry mouth.

f) Cayenne Pepper:

When you have dry mouth, it is hard to tell between different tastes, such as sweet, sour, bitter and salty. However, cayenne (or red) pepper can stimulate the production of saliva when it is sprinkled on your food. You can also eat spicy salsas and a bowl of hot chili to achieve the same effect.

g) Fennel:

Fight bad breath from dry mouth by chewing on fennel seeds. ?

h) Rosemary:

Create a homemade mouthwash that fights dry mouth and freshens breath by combining one teaspoon each of dried rosemary, dried mint, and aniseed with 2 ½ cups of boiling water. Cover the ingredients and allow to steep for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain the contents and place in the refrigerator. Use this recipe to create a soothing gargle.

i) Electrolytes:

If dehydration is causing your dry mouth, a good way to counteract the symptoms is to restore electrolytes in the body. Sports drinks, such as Gatorade, replenish the body – and you can make an alternative in the comforts of your own home. For this recipe, mix one teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and one tablespoon sugar into a cup of water. To add flavor, use a dash of lemon, lime or orange. A recommended dose is one cup per day.

j) Stop Smoking:

Smokers can avoid the dryness associated with cigarettes that develops in the mouth by kicking the habit. It is also recommended to stop chewing tobacco as well.

k) Water:

Sipping on water throughout the day and drinking with meals can make it easier to chew and swallow your food.

l) Ice:

Suck on small pieces of ice to keep your mouth moistened.

m) Limit the Use of Over-the-Counter Products:

Over-the-counter medications, such as antihistamines and decongestants, can worsen your dry mouth symptoms.

n) Sleeping Habits:

At night, make it a habit to close your mouth while sleeping. If you keep your mouth wide open, it can produce dry mouth in the morning.

o) Breathing Techniques:

Throughout the day, breathing through the nose and not through the mouth can lessen the effects of dry mouth.

p) Soft, Liquidy Foods:

Soothe dry mouth with stews, soups and dishes with noodles.

q) Humidifier:

Place a humidifier in your room to add moisture to the air while you sleep.

r) Celery:

The water content of celery is high enough to jumpstart your saliva glands and add moisture to your mouth.

Resources

[1] http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dry-mouth/HA00034
[2] http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dry-mouth/HA00034/DSECTION=causes

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1 Comment
  1. betty potts has posted a tip on May 23, 2013, 10:39 am

    dry mouth due to medication

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