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Suffering from dry mouth is not a fun experience. According to current medical research nearly 200,000 Americans suffer from dry mouth every single year. You are not alone. The condition also known as xerostomia, can require medical treatment to prevent any serious long term health conditions so be sure to consult with your dentist or doctor prior to beginning any at home remedies for dry mouth.
Reasons For Dry Mouth
Let’s look at some of the other reasons for dry mouth; certain over the counter medications (Cold medicines in particular), anxiety, nerve damage, diabetes, radiation therapy, serious health issues, and smoking.
Dry mouth, also called xerostomia, is a condition that occurs when the salivary glands in your mouth don’t produce enough saliva. Dry mouth can be a symptom of certain health conditions, such as Sjogren’s syndrome, diabetes, or HIV/AIDS. I
t can also be caused by certain medications, such as antihistamines, decongestants, and painkillers. Dry mouth can be a temporary or permanent condition.
If you have dry mouth, you may experience symptoms such as a sticky feeling in your mouth, bad breath, or difficulty chewing or swallowing. Dry mouth can also cause sores in your mouth or difficulty wearing dentures.
There are several things you can do to treat dry mouth, including drinking plenty of fluids, sucking on ice chips, chewing sugar-free gum or candy, and using saliva substitutes. You should also avoid smoking and limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol.
If your dry mouth is caused by a medication you’re taking, your doctor may be able to prescribe an alternative medication. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to treat the underlying condition that’s causing dry mouth.
For such serious reasons- please consult with a physician as treating a symptom will not cure the root of the problem.
Home Remedies For Dry Mouth
Below are 15 all natural home remedies for dry mouth that will help to eliminate that unwanted dry mouth feeling or get rid of it completely if followed on a routine basis.
1. Lemon Juice & Warm Water
Ok- seriously, my great grandmother always told me the secret to living a long and healthy life was lemons. She had a lemon tree out front her doorstep and ate one everyday- yes ate it! Her teeth were not the best, but she lived to be 102 year old!!
Use fresh lemons and add some honey to a glass of warm water and sip this throughout the day to stay hydrated. If you are brave enough you can also suck on lemons throughout the day. It will enhance your taste buds and trigger the salivary glands to secrete saliva as well as clean your breath.
2. Stay Hydrated
This one seems like a no brainer right? But its often the cause of dry mouth quite often. Many people go throughout their day forgetting to drink water and then come 3pm they are hungry and cranky- that’s usually a sign of dehydration!
Sip water or suck on ice chips throughout the day to moisten your mouth, and be sure to drink lots of water during the day as well as during meals to aid chewing and swallowing.
Avoid caffeinated drinks such as coffee and tea since they can actually dehydrate you. Same as alcohol- best to avoid it if you are suffering. Sugar and sugary foods can also cause dehydration and take moisture out of your mouth.
3. Suck on Herbal Candies
Suck on homemade herbal hard candies. You can make your own herbal lozenges very easily and keep them around for times when you are sick or suffering from dry mouth. You can also purchase these from a quality natural food store that sells homemade goods.
4. Breathe through your nose, Not your mouth.
This may seem like another obvious one, but its often times unconscious or happens when you are sleeping. You may need to seek treatment for snoring that causes you to breathe through your mouth during the night if that is a problem.
The easiest home remedies for dry mouth at night time requires a little help from a mouth guard or some nasal strips like- breathe right strips. Drink some warm water and lemon before you go to bed and be sure to keep water next to you in case you wake in the middle of the night.
Do you best to sleep on side to avoid your head from tilting back. You can use pillows around you to ensure you stay on your side for more comfort as well.
5. Cayenne Pepper
Spicy foods are not ideal for dry mouth, but Cayenne pepper actually stimulates saliva production, making it one of the better remedies for curing a dry mouth quickly. Just tap a tiny bit of ground cayenne pepper on a wet finger, then rub it around your tongue.
This may cause a burning sensation for some time, but it will stimulate your salivary glands. Alternatively, you can take cayenne pepper capsules after consulting your doctor.
6. Fennel Seeds
The flavonoids in fennel seeds stimulate the flow of saliva and hence help get rid of dry mouth. Plus, their aromatic flavor helps combat bad breath that accompanies dry mouth.
How do you use fennel seeds? Just chew on few fennel seeds several times a day to treat dry mouth. You can find them at any local grocery store in the spice/seasoning isle or at your local whole foods market.
7. Oil Pulling
One of my favorite tips for a healthy mouth is Oil pulling. Its an ancient Ayurvedic practice that helps keep your mouth moist and free of bacteria. It is also very helpful in treating dry mouth. It is also beneficial in maintaining oral health and eliminating bad breath.
Oil pulling can be done with coconut oil, sesame oil or any other edible vegetable oil. Just place 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin coconut oil in your mouth and swish the oil around your mouth thoroughly for about 15 minutes. Spit it out and rinse your mouth with warm water. Repeat the process daily, in the morning before eating anything.
8. Aloe Vera
An age-old remedy to treat dry mouth is the aloe vera plant. It also helps protect the sensitive tissue in the mouth and has even been known to enhance the taste buds. Drink ¼ cup of aloe vera juice daily to cure dry mouth. You can also rinse your mouth with aloe vera juice a few times a day.
9. Coconut Water
Coconut water is great for dehydration but its also contains certain antibacterial properties and oils that allow your mouth to regain moisture. Much like oil pulling, the coconut water helps to eliminate bad breath and encourages good oral health.
10. Slippery Elm
Slippery Elm has long been used for a number of ailments over the years. Native Americans used slippery elm in healing salves for wounds, boils, ulcers, burns, and skin inflammation. It was also taken orally to relieve coughs, sore throats, diarrhea, constipation, and stomach problems. Slippery elm contains mucilage.
Due to this substance, it becomes a slick gel when mixed with water. This gel helps coat and soothe the mouth as well as the throat. Plus, it can effectively relieve many discomforts associated with dry mouth. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of slippery elm to a cup of hot water. Cover and allow it to steep for 10 minutes. Strain, add honey and drink this tea twice daily.
11. Cardamom Powder
Cardamom powder is another great herb with a number of healing aspects. Just take 1 glass of hot water and add 1 tsp of cardamom powder- mixing it well. Let it cool just a bit and drink once a day. It will moisten the mouth and cure bad breath problems.
Ginger is considered very effective in activating the salivary glands and giving a fresh feel to the mouth. Chew a small piece of fresh ginger. It acts as a great appetizer and simultaneously freshen the breath.
Ginger juice helps solve the problem of dry mouth for a long time. You can also drink 2-3 cups of ginger tea with honey daily, to stimulate your salivary glands- just be sure it is decaffeinated tea.
13. Baking Soda
Take ½ tsp. of baking soda, 1 tsp. of salt, 1 Tbsp. of sugar, and 3-4 drops of lime juice. Mix all the ingredients. Swirl it around your mouth and tongue and drink it. This is one of the best natural home remedies to eliminate the dryness in the mouth.
Take 3-4 cloves. Suck on them or swirl them around, till they lose their effectiveness and throw them out.
15. Salted Water
Add ½ tsp. of salt to one cup of warm water and gargle with this solution. It’s very effective home remedy for treating dry mouth.
Dry Mouth Tips:
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol. These products can cause dryness, dehydration and irritation. Don’t use a mouthwash that contains alcohol.
- Avoid all tobacco. If you smoke or chew tobacco, stop, because tobacco products can dry and Avoid over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants. These can worsen your dry mouth.
- Avoid sugary or acidic foods and candies. They increase the risk of tooth decay. Also avoid spicy or salty food because they can cause irritation.
- Do brush with a fluoride toothpaste and floss your teeth. Ask your dentist if you might benefit from prescription fluoride toothpaste, toothpaste containing betaine, or a tooth gel to neutralize bacteria acids.
- Do use a fluoride rinse or brush-on fluoride gel before bedtime.
- Do see your dentist at least twice yearly to have your teeth examined and plaque removed, to help prevent tooth decay.
- Do add moisture to the air at night with a room humidifier, especially if you snore or are an open mouth breather/sleeper
When to See Your Doctor About Your Dry Mouth Issues?
Having dry mouth is rarely a serious issue, mostly it’s due to dehydration or medication usage. However you should consider seeing your doctor if you experience dry mouth alongside additional conditions or symptoms. If you have diabetes, an autoimmune disorder, Parkinson’s, anemia, feel weak or unwell while experiencing having a dry mouth you will want to check in with your doctor to see if it could be something more serious.
If these conditions are causing your dry mouth, treating the underlying condition will be more effective than home remedies.