Have you experienced dry mouth? Dry mouth is very common, and it can happen to anyone, regardless of age. It’s uncomfortable – as if you’re extremely dehydrated. It happens when the salivary glands aren’t working as they should. It can be really annoying, and it can make it difficult to eat or even speak.
In this article, we’ll cover what dry mouth is, and what you can do to fix it. We’ve included foods and drinks that may help with dry mouth, as well as natural and pharmaceutical solutions.
- Drink more water to alleviate dry mouth caused by dehydration.
- Avoid salty foods, alcoholic and caffeinated beverages, and smoking to reduce the risk of dry mouth.
- Try sugar-free candy or gum to stimulate salivary glands and relieve dry mouth.
- Consider over-the-counter medications or herbal remedies for short-term relief from dry mouth.
- Prevent dry mouth by avoiding caffeine, alcohol, smoking, excessive sugar, and using alcohol-free mouthwash while maintaining good oral health care.
What is dry mouth?
Dry mouth, also known as cottonmouth, xerostomia or hyposalivation, is a condition that affects the salivary glands. Dry mouth isn’t technically a disorder of its own. Instead, it’s often a symptom of other underlying diseases or conditions. For example, someone who is severely dehydrated might experience dry mouth. Dehydration is the condition, and dry mouth is the symptom.
Home treatment remedies for dry mouth
If you’ve got dry mouth, you’re likely wondering, what can I do to fix it? It’s pretty uncomfortable! After all, no one likes the inside of their mouth feeling like sandpaper. The good news is, there are plenty of home remedies that can help. However, it is essential to note that these won’t “cure” dry mouth for good, especially if it is a symptom of a more serious underlying condition.
Drinks to naturally alleviate dry mouth
The first line of defense is increasing your fluid intake. Try drinking more water! Often, drinking water is enough to cure the dry mouth feeling and prompt your salivary glands to start working again. Dehydration is the most common culprit of dry mouth, and drinking water or sucking on ice chips will treat dehydration. Avoid things that dehydrate you, like salty foods, alcoholic and caffeinated beverages, and smoking, and you can significantly reduce your risk.
Foods to naturally alleviate dry mouth
What typically happens when you start thinking of your favorite foods? You start to salivate! In the same way, certain foods can kickstart your salivary glands back into gear. Try sucking on sugar-free candy or chewing sugar-free gum. These can often stimulate the salivary glands enough to solve a dry mouth problem.
The pharmaceutical companies think of just about everything, and the loss of saliva is no different. There are over-the-counter medications you can take to increase the production of saliva as well as saliva substitutes you can take. Most medications offer short term, fast-acting relief, but are not a good long-term solution. Xerostom is an over-the-counter product that can help eliminate dry mouth temporarily, but if there is an underlying factor causing the condition, dry mouth will return.
If water and food haven’t solved the problem, and you aren’t the type to take medications, there are plenty of herbal remedies to try. Herbs can stimulate the salivary glands, providing quick relief from dry mouth symptoms. A few herbs you can try include:
- Aloe Vera
- Hollyhock Root
- Marshmallow Root
Most of the herbs listed above all work on the same principle of stimulating the salivary glands. Aloe vera and ginger are typically the most common herbs people keep in the home, and can provide fast-acting relief of dry mouth.
Tips to prevent dry mouth
Believe it or not, there are tons of ways you can stop dry mouth in its tracks. Many of these tips below involve limiting factors that cause dehydration while keeping your salivary glands stimulated.
- Avoid Caffeinated Beverages
- Limit Alcohol Use
- Stop Smoking
- Reduce Sugar Intake
- Try Sucking on Sugar-Free Candies/ Chew Sugarless Gum
- Replace mouthwash with alcohol-free types
- Improve your oral health care
Luckily, for most people, dry mouth is only a temporary inconvenience. The symptom will quickly resolve or can be solved by using some of the tips listed above. If you’re still having issues with dry mouth, you may want to schedule an appointment with your dentist to determine the root cause. While most patients experience dry mouth as a dehydration symptom, the dry mouth has also been linked to:
- Kidney Disorders
- Autoimmune Disorders
- Nutrient Deficiencies
As you can see, dry mouth can be a warning sign for many common illnesses. The sooner you visit your dentist to have the issue checked out, the sooner you can find long term relief.
If you are experiencing dry mouth symptoms schedule an appointment with Soundview Family Dental today. We proudly offer treatment options for dry mouth, keeping patient’s smiles at their best.