20 Treatments for Dry Mouth that Work
Xerostomia, more commonly known as dry mouth, affects over affecting approximately 20 percent of the U.S. elderly population according to the Oral Cancer Foundation. Symptoms very by cause but can include parched oral tissue, a rough tongue surface, excessive thirst, loss of taste, thick saliva, cracked lips, mouth sores, and difficulty speaking, chewing, and swallowing. The origin of dry mouth can be correlated to many factors, from reduction of saliva production in the salivary glands to stress and anxiety to snoring and bad habits such as tobacco use. Certain medications for neurological conditions, depression, decongestion, muscle relaxation, and pain management can also restrict moisture in the mouth. Diabetes, autoimmune diseases and cancer therapies can also affect your saliva levels.
So how can you get your mouth’s bacteria fighting liquid back to full capacity? Below are 23 ways to do just that and include both prescription and at home remedies to try. As always, please consult a doctor prior to implementing any of our suggestions.
- Drink water while eating, and sip it often throughout the day. Use warm water to rinse your mouth out following any food consumption.
- Ask your health care provider about a prescription or over-the-counter artificial saliva substitute to help until you can get your natural saliva back to normal levels.
- Cayenne Pepper is a stimulant for the salivary glands. Pressing a little pinch of cayenne pepper to a wet finger and rubbing it on your tongue is the best direct way to utilize it. Keep in mind cayenne peppers are spicy, so this may burn or numb your tongue. Alternatively, you can add cayenne to your meals or take capsules if you’d prefer to avoid the flavor.
- Enjoy foods with high water content to encourage saliva increase in your mouth and help hamper dehydration. Watermelons, celery, strawberries, grapefruit, and peaches all have over 88% water composition.
- Fennel seeds stimulate saliva production via their flavonoids. You can munch on fennel stalks several times each day to treat dry mouth, or take advantage of a 1/2 teaspoon of fennel seeds either roasted with salt or raw following each meal.
- Slippery Elm Tea offers a sweetened drink full of mucilage that coats and soothes a parched mouth and throat. Just steep a couple tablespoons of slippery elm in hot water for 10 minutes, drain out the particles and add honey if you like.
- Like slippery elm, Aloe Vera’s slick interior lends itself to easing your dry mouth. This has been used for hundreds of years in cultures with warmer climates. Aloe Vera also protects oral tissue and re-moisturizes the mucous layer of the gums. Simply drink ¼ cup of aloe very juice daily.
- It may seem strange since the fruit is high in acid, but lemon can stimulate saliva production and ease dry mouth. The acid we mentioned actually works to clean your teeth and oral tissue and eliminate bad breath caused by dry mouth.
- Cardamom is another ancient remedy, originally discussed in Ayurvedic practices of India. Chewing on a pod of cardamom or drinking cardamom powder tea each day triggers saliva release and aids in masking bad breathe. You can also swish with the cardamom tea if you’d rather not drink it.
- Chewing a small piece of fresh ginger kicks the salivary glands into high gear and also aids in bad breathe. Doing this a couple times every day can alleviate dry mouth. If you’d prefer, you can drink a ginger and honey tea 3 times daily instead.
- Reduce or stop smoking and/or chewing tobacco since it is responsible for hampering saliva creation.
- Suck on sugar-free candies or masticate sugar-free gum to ramp up saliva production.
- Utilize a humidifier or vaporizer while you sleep to keep your mouth moist as you breathe or snore.
- During the day, make the constant effort to breathe through your nose rather than your mouth to keep it moist and reduce dehydration in general.
- Avoid or change any medications that may be causing dry mouth.
- Gargle with warm salt water several times every day.
- Take a hot shower or go in a sauna to inhale steam into your sinuses and airways.
- Add or increase tongue cleaning to your oral routine.
- Use fluoride-rich toothpaste and mouthwash. Your dentist may also provide fluoride gel and tooth trays to be used for several minutes each night.
- Grapeseed or coconut oil are both effective in reducing symptoms of dry mouth. Both oils coat your oral cavity to retain moisture and ease thirst, as well as calm pain and heal sores caused by dry mouth. Just use your fingertips to rub either oil on your tongue or inside your cheeks, and allow it to work overnight. Remember to rinse your mouth out upon waking and follow up with your typical oral maintenance routine. You can also swish either oil around your mouth for about 20 minutes and then spit it out immediately. This is known as oil pulling.