9 Home Remedies for Dry Mouth
- 9 Home Remedies for Dry Mouth>Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is a pretty unpleasant situation. There are numerous ways to address the problem, but before you try any of them, consult your healthcare provider, especially if you are taking any medications. Identifying the cause can streamline relief for your dry mouth. Cancer treatments, hormone therapy, some antidepressants, even certain OTC meds like antihistamines and decongestants are notorious culprits of dry mouth. Try some of these strategies to increase the flow of saliva in your mouth and to provide some relief.
- Drink more water.Okay, so this is the obvious one. How much water do you typically consume in an average day? You can boost your consumption of fluids by keeping a bottle or cup of water with you and taking sips throughout the day. Or suck on some ice chips.
- Avoid caffeine.Research shows consuming a lot of caffeine can cause xerostomia—or make it worse if you already have it. Cut back or cut out the caffeinated coffee and sodas, and up your intake of decaffeinated tea and water. Add a twist of lemon, lime or orange to your water if the straight-up version doesn’t do it for you.
- Use a humidifier.Remember those antihistamines and decongestants that tend to try out your nasal passages? They make your mouth dry, too. If you need to take these medications, try using a cool-mist humidifier in your home to add moisture to the air, especially in your bedroom at night.
- Try a special toothpaste or mouthwash.You might be loyal to a favorite type of toothpaste or mouthwash, but consider switching to one of the brands specially formulated to help reduce the uncomfortable sensation of dry mouth. The Mayo Clinic suggests looking for xylitol in the ingredients list on the label. Artificial saliva products such as rinses, moisturizing gels, and sprays containing xylitol or carboxymethylcellulose may also help you. Meanwhile, put any mouthwashes containing alcohol back on the shelf, since alcohol can dry out your mouth even more.
- Savor a sugar-free treat.Suck on a piece of sugar-free hard candy or chew a piece of sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production in a tasty way. Again, look for xylitol on the package, since this ingredient can help stimulate the flow of additional saliva.
- Stop smoking.If you smoke or use tobacco, it’s time to kick the habit once and for all. In addition to other negative health consequences, tobacco use can exacerbate dry mouth. The toxins in cigarette smoke not only reduce how much saliva your mouth produces, but smoking seems to lead to a greater presence of Candida species, which can cause thrush, and gingivitis.
Inhale through your nose, not your mouth. Dry mouth can reduce your sense of taste and increase your chances of getting an infection in your mouth or throat. So try breathing in through your nose, not your mouth. According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, inhaling through your nose helps by adding some moisture to the air, which also reduces dryness in your lungs.
- Reduce your alcohol consumption.You’ve already pitched the mouthwash containing mouth-drying alcohol. Now it’s time to switch to virgin drinks at happy hour, too. Besides drying out your mouth, alcohol consumption tends to trigger the need to urinate more frequently, which also contributes to water loss.
9 Home Remedies for Dry Mouth