Dry mouth can be an annoying and even painful condition that affects many people, but there are a number of effective remedies for this condition, including coconut juice, green tea, cayenne pepper, extra hydration, lemon, aloe vera, and even soup!
What is Dry Mouth?
When you’re suffering from dry mouth, it’s not exactly difficult to detect; your tongue feels like sand, you can’t seem to generate any saliva, and it becomes more difficult to swallow. While most people assume that dry mouth is solely caused by dehydration, the truth is that this affliction can come from a number of causes. Dry mouth actually has a technical name, xerostomia, and is primarily defined by the lack of saliva production in your mouth. Saliva is a very important fluid in our body, because it helps us speak, chew, spit and digest food, but most people don’t think about it until it’s gone.
Xerostomia can be caused by medications, such as antihistamines, painkillers, muscle relaxants, and anti-depressants. Many of these medications, particularly antihistamines, dry out your mucus membranes and reduce your saliva levels. Xerostomia is also linked to smoking, pregnancy, anxiety, stress and the natural aging process. While this condition isn’t necessarily dangerous, it can make life uncomfortable, as it will be difficult to swallow, you’ll wake up in the middle of the night craving a drink of water, and you may suffer a number of side effects, including bad breath, a dry tongue, cracked lips, and a sore throat. Fortunately, if you want to avoid this obviously unpleasant situation, there are a few lifestyle and dietary changes that can get rid of dry mouth for good. Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the most effective remedies for dry mouth.
Home Remedies for Dry Mouth
Home remedies for dry mouth include:
When our taste buds and nerve endings experience an extreme stimulant, the body’s natural response is to produce saliva. For example, when we eat something spicy, we begin to salivate in order to soothe the burning sensation, so if you’re suffering from dry mouth, take a bit of cayenne powder and rub it on your tongue or gums. Your mouth will be flooded with saliva almost immediately, and your dry mouth issues will disappear!
The citric acid found in lemons and lemon juice can quickly stimulate the production of saliva, and also protect your mouth from infections that can contribute to bad breath and other oral issues. You can rub a slice of lemon on your tongue, mix lemon juice with honey, or simply suck on a lemon slice to eliminate your dry mouth.
This is one of the oldest and most trusted remedies for dry mouth. Aloe vera juice is rich in antioxidants, nutrients, and naturally hydrating substances, and can also stimulate the production of saliva in the mouth. Furthermore, aloe vera can enhance the function of the tastebuds and protect you from oral infections.
Although dehydration isn’t the sole cause of dry mouth, it is certainly to blame some of the time. If you increase your daily intake of water, you’re much less likely to suffer from dry mouth, as it will increase the amount of saliva that your body produces, and also lubricates the throat, gums and lips, preventing some of the more uncomfortable side effects of xerostomia.
There are a number of natural moisturizing properties of grapeseed oil that makes it very good at preventing or eliminating dry mouth symptoms. Simply rub a small amount of grapeseed oil on your gums and on your tongue, and it should keep your mouth hydrated and moisturized for hours!
Get a Humidifier
If you regularly wake up in the middle of the night suffering from dry mouth, it may be because the environment of your bedroom is too dry. Getting a humidifier can be a simple and effective way to handle dry mouth and ensure that you have restful, undisturbed sleep.
If you find yourself suffering from xerostomia and are also taking a new medication, try speaking to your doctor about alternative prescriptions that don’t have dry mouth as such a consistent symptom, as those medications are very commonly the root cause of your suffering.
Develop a Sweet Tooth
Anecdotal evidence suggests that sucking on hard candy or chewing on sugar-free gum can quickly stimulate the production of saliva, so if you feel a bout of cotton mouth coming on, simply pop a piece of candy and the problem should clear itself up in no time!
Change Your Breathing Pattern
One of the quickest ways to dry out your mouth is to continually breathe through your mouth. If you are constantly bringing dry air into your mouth and throat, that air will rob you of hydration, thus drying out your mouth. If you can consciously try to breathe through your nose and out through your mouth, you are far less likely to experience dry mouth.
All tobacco products dry out the mouth, so if you’re a regular smoker, or chew tobacco, don’t be surprised if you suffer from dry mouth. The best way to eliminate the problem, obviously, is to cease all use of tobacco products, not only for the sake of your xerostomia, but also the many other health risks that smoking and tobacco use incurs.
Reduce Caffeine Intake
Studies have shown that caffeine can dehydrate the body and also dry out the mouth, so eliminating coffee, or at least cutting back to one cup a day, should keep your mouth properly salivated all day.
Limit Alcohol Consumption
There is a good reason why you feel so thirsty and weak after a long night of drinking. Alcohol dehydrates the body faster than almost any other substance, so if you regularly suffer from xerostomia, your alcohol intake is certainly not helping.