Dry mouth occurs when the mouth does not produce enough saliva. While it is not dangerous, it can be an annoying symptom.
Sometimes, the solution is as simple as drinking water to avoid a dry mouth from thirst. Dry mouth may also appear due to other reasons, such as a medication or an underlying condition.
In this article, learn about 11 home remedies for dry mouth, as well as when to talk to a doctor.
Anyone who has dry mouth should make sure they drink enough water.
Drinking water throughout the day can help prevent minor dehydration that can cause dry mouth.
Drinking water slowly and regularly during the day can help prevent an upset stomach that can occur as a result of drinking too much water at once.
Poor oral health can cause dry mouth, and dry mouth can also lead to poor oral health. Taking steps to improve general oral hygiene is vital, regardless of the underlying cause of dry mouth.
Good oral hygiene includes brushing and flossing every day, as well as rinsing your mouth with water or mouthwash after meals to help remove food particles.
Some people choose to use a tongue scraper to help reduce bacteria in the tongue, which can also improve overall oral health.
Mouthwash can play a positive role in maintaining oral health, but it is important to consider the ingredients of a mouthwash. Mouthwashes that contain alcohol kill bacteria, but can also dry out the mouth.
However, mouthwashes that contain ingredients such as xylitol can help kill bacteria and keep your mouth moist.
The 2014 research authors noted that xylitol and betaine, which are common ingredients in some mouthwashes, can effectively improve dry mouth when it is a side effect of the medication.
Sucking a sugar free candy or pill can help keep your mouth from drying out. Sucking the candy keeps your mouth shut and helps the saliva circulate.
This could temporarily relieve dryness or prevent it from happening. It is important to choose a sugar-free variety, since sugary sweets can damage teeth.
Like sugar-free candy, chewing sugar-free gum can help maintain saliva flow and stimulate saliva production, which could prevent the mouth from drying out.
Chewing gum is a temporary solution, but it can provide quick relief.
Ginger sprays, tea and other ginger products can help stimulate the salivary glands and increase saliva production.
A 2017 clinical trial in 20 people noted that ginger spray could be an alternative to other treatments for some people with a dry mouth.
Some over-the-counter (OTC) products contain medications or artificial forms of saliva designed to stimulate saliva or prevent dry mouth.
These can provide temporary relief and, in general, have fewer side effects than stronger prescription options.
Over-the-counter products for dry mouth include pills, sprays, mouthwashes and more.
If a person spends a lot of time indoors, you may notice that the dry indoor air worsens the symptoms of dry mouth.
Many people find relief by using a humidifier in the rooms they use most. Adding moisture to the air with a humidifier can help keep the airways and mouth moist, which helps prevent dry mouth.
Many medications can cause dry mouth, including medications to treat:
Anyone who takes medication for any of these conditions and experiences dry mouth can talk with their doctor about alternatives or solutions for side effects.
While some remedies may help temporarily relieve dry mouth, lifestyle changes may also be necessary to help reduce symptoms.
For example, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research notes that substances such as tobacco and alcohol use can dry out the mouth. Avoiding the use of tobacco and alcohol can help prevent dry mouth in some cases.
Caffeine can also dry out the mouth. Avoiding sources of caffeine, such as coffee, tea and energy drinks, can prevent dryness.
Breathing with your mouth open can quickly dry the airways. Some people breathe with their mouths open when they have a respiratory illness, such as a cold, or due to underlying medical conditions.
Participation in activities that cause intense breathing, such as intense exercise, can also cause a person to breathe with his mouth open.
Also, if a person wakes up every morning with a dry mouth, he may be sleeping with his mouth open and inhaling dry air.
Making a conscious effort to keep your mouth shut and breathe through your nose can help improve saliva flow in some people. Other tips can help with this effort, such as sucking a sugar-free candy.
Dry mouth can be irritating and can even cause other mouth problems if left unchecked. Many home remedies can help a person get relief.
Anyone who has difficulty treating dry mouth at home should talk to a doctor. They may recommend a change in medication or other tests to help diagnose and treat any underlying problem.
SHOP FOR DRY MOUTH RESOURCES
Many of the home remedies in this article are available at pharmacies and online:
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