Dry mouth is a common condition but often people suffer from it without even their knowledge. As the name suggests, the condition involves drying of the mouth and this condition is medically known as xerostomia. Dry mouth is caused due to less production of saliva or production of poor quality saliva which is not able to offer sufficient lubrication in the mouth. Complete stop of saliva production can be an advanced stage of this condition, which warrants for quick medical attention. However, if the condition is not that much severe, it is best to opt for home remedies as early as the symptoms are evident.
What is dry mouth?
The first symptom of dry mouth is certainly dryness in the mouth which is usually coupled with other symptoms like excessive thirst, roughness of the tongue, extreme dryness of the lips and sore throat. Some of the other common symptoms of dry mouth include, bad breath, hoarseness in voice, difficulty in swallowing and dry nasal passage. While all the symptoms might not be prominent in every case, but more than one of these symptoms are usually observed in people suffering from dry mouth.
In most of the cases, taking the right care at the right time helps in solving out the problem to a great extent. Being aware about the cause of dry mouth or if something in particular is triggering the problem, can also be most helpful to eliminate the condition quickly. So, first we will take a look at the common reasons of dry mouth and then we will move to the home remedies that can help to treat the problem of dry mouth efficiently.
What causes dry mouth?
There are some particular reasons that can work as the primary cause of dry mouth. Often dry mouth occurs due to a combination of more than one of the causes mentioned below. So, if any of the below goes true for you and you are suffering from dry mouth, eliminate the cause/causes and you are sure to see improvements.
Medications may cause dry mouth
Certain medications can be pointed out as one of the most common reasons of dry mouth. Medications of blood pressure, anxiety, pain, heart diseases, anti-histamines and even muscle relaxants can cause dry mouth. So, if you have started taking any new medication and soon after have noticed the problem of dry mouth, it might be caused due to the medication only. In such case, talk with your doctor and follow as directed.
Dehydration – a primary cause of dry mouth
Our body is dehydrated more often than we realize and dehydration can be one of the primary reasons of dry mouth. If your body is not sufficiently hydrated throughout the day, your saliva is most expected to dry out and become thick, causing symptoms of dry mouth. Making sure that you are taking sufficient water at regular intervals throughout the day is vital to keep dry mouth at bay.
Smoking and drinking may cause dry mouth
If you are a smoker or if you drink regularly your chance of suffering from dry mouth is high. Both smoking and drinking affect the quality of saliva as well as the activity of the salivary gland. While, occasional smoking or drinking might not actually cause dry mouth, regular smoking or drinking can be a primary reason behind the problem. Alcohol also causes dehydration, which triggers dry mouth.
Hormonal changes triggers dry mouth
Hormonal changes in the body can work as a reason of dry mouth. Stress, anxiety which hamper the normal hormonal balance in the body can cause dry mouth. Many women suffer from dry mouth during pregnancy and lactation. Dry mouth can also be triggered during menopause but usually in these cases the problem naturally goes away with time.
Therapy and surgical reasons
Radiation therapy can cause dry mouth. If you are going through radiation therapy in any form, the chances of suffering from dry mouth is high. In such cases it is important to consult with your doctor and to follow the best home remedies to control the condition. Surgery of the mouth, surgical removal of the saliva gland or diseases of the saliva gland can also trigger dry mouth symptoms.
Home remedies for dry mouth
Here are some of the most effective home remedies that can be very helpful to get rid of the dry mouth condition. Eliminating the cause of dry mouth and following these remedies cure the problem and the symptoms in most of the cases,
Ginger can help in treating dry mouth
Ginger, the common kitchen ingredient, can be one of the most effective home remedies for dry mouth. Ginger helps in activating the salivary gland and also fights bad breath which is a common problem associated with dry mouth.
Chew a small piece of ginger at frequent intervals. You can also prepare tasty dried ginger pieces by adding a bit of salt and lemon to the grated ginger and then drying it under the sun. Apart from helping in curing dry mouth, it will also work as a great appetizer.
Fennel seeds are effective to treat dry mouth
Fennel seeds are known for their sweet taste and aromatic flavor. Chewing fennel seeds 4-5 times a days or just keeping the fennel seeds in your mouth for long time can be helpful to increase saliva production and also to fight the symptoms of dry mouth.
Grape seed oil for dry mouth
Another home remedy which is claimed to be highly effective in treating the symptoms of dry mouth vows for the use of grape seed oil. After washing your teeth and mouth at night take some grape seed oil on your fingers and apply it onto your tongue and the inner part of your cheeks. Spit out the excess but do not wash. Wash and brush your teeth the next morning.
Aloe vera helps in treating dry mouth
Aloe Vera is the other common home remedy that you can try to solve the problem of dry mouth. You can simply rinse your mouth 3-4 times in a day with Aloe Vera juice. You can also apply the Aloe Vera juice to your tongue and mouth and leave on for at least an hour before washing with water. Drinking Aloe Vera juice two to three times a day can also be helpful.
Cinnamon can increase saliva secretion
The spice cinnamon has the ability to increase more saliva secretion thus helping in curing the symptoms of dry mouth. The flavor of cinnamon also helps in fighting bad breath.Chewing strands of cinnamon can be a good option to increase the production of saliva and to fight dry mouth.
Tulsi leaves for dry mouth
Tulsi leaves have a number of medicinal properties and it can be helpful to cure the symptoms of dry mouth as well. Take a few tulsi leaves, wash them clean and chew. Do not chew a lot of tulsi leaves at once, chew one tulsi leaf at frequent intervals to keep the saliva flowing continuously.
Slippery elm to treat dry mouth
Slippery elm is another common home treatment for dry mouth. This herb contains mucilage which can be helpful to provide proper lubrication in the mouth, controlling the symptoms of dry mouth effectively. You can prepare a tea with slippery elm and drink it twice a day or prepare a mixture with slippery elm bark dust and water and then apply it to your mouth and tongue. Wash off after 10 minutes.
Celery can treat dry mouth
The water loaded celery sticks can be a good treatment for dry mouth. Munching on these sticks help in stimulating the saliva glands and adds moisture to the mouth. Chewing on celery sticks at frequent intervals or at least 2-3 times a day can be helpful to fight dry mouth.
Some habit changes that can treat dry mouth
Changing some of your habits can be effective for treating dry mouth, because often these habits cause or aggravated the condition.
Breathe through your nose
Breathing through mouth is a common thing and all of us do more or less. If you are suffering from dry mouth, you should stop breathing through mouth completely because it aggravates the condition quickly. Breathing through nose has its benefits and it will take only a bit of practice to ensure that you are not breathing through mouth even unconsciously.
Use a humidifier in your room
The dry air often aggravates symptoms of dry mouth. Adding a humidifier in your room will keep the air of the room moist which will certainly help in reducing the dryness.
Use an alcohol free mouthwash
Most of the mouthwash available in the market comes with alcohol. Alcohol can cause dehydration and is often a reason of dryness in the mouth. So, if you have dry mouth, pick a mouthwash that is completely free from alcohol.
Stay away from caffeinated beverage
Caffeine has a drying effect on the inner lining of the mouth. So, if you are suffering from dry mouth, drinking these beverages will surely add to the problem. You can always opt for the decaffeinated versions of these beverages or keep the consumption of these beverages really low.
Avoid oily and spicy food
Oily and spicy foods might interfere with the normal saliva production. So, if you are already suffering from symptoms of dry mouth, it is best to stay away from the spicy and oily dishes.
Maintain the best oral hygiene
For people suffering with dry mouth it is really important to maintain the best oral hygiene. Cleaning the teeth, tongue and the inner side of the cheeks properly is important after every meal. Dry mouth is often accompanied with cavity and other teeth problems and on the other hand, poor oral hygiene can also aggravate the symptoms of dry mouth. So, if you have dry mouth, always maintain the best oral hygiene.