Dry mouth, popularly known by its medical term, Xerostomia is a condition in which you don’t have enough saliva to keep it moisturized and wet. Although there are multiple causes of this medical condition, the absence or the deficiency of saliva is the primary one. We all need saliva not only to keep our mouths dry and moisturized but also to prevent infections by controlling the growth of fungi and bacteria in the mouth. Continue reading to know more about the causes of this disease and home remedies which are ideal for its treatment.
Signs and Symptoms of Dry Mouth or Sudden Dry Mouth
As with all diseases, dry mouth is also accompanied by a multitude of signs and symptoms. The earlier a patient recognizes these, the faster will he or she recover. The list below mentions the most significant signs and symptoms of dry mouth-
• feeling chewy and dry around the mouth and throat.
• having trouble chewing, tasting or swallowing.
• a slight burning sensation in his or her mouth.
• The tongue is often dry, and patient becomes thirsty at frequent intervals.
• constant gum irritation and cracked lips.
• tooth decays and mouth sores.
• Bad breath on a regular basis is also a sign of dry mouth.
You should be on lookout for any of the signs and symptoms mentioned above because as prevention is better than cure and any disease can be prevented by looking out for the right signs and symptoms.
Causes of Sudden Dry Mouth
There are a number of causes for dry mouth. The most significant of the lot are as indicated below-
• As the side effect of certain medications – It has been reported by multiple patients over the course of treatment that they suffer from dry mouth as a side effect of certain prescription and non-prescription drugs which are commonly used to treat diseases like anxiety, allergies, and depression. Drugs used to cure other diseases like Parkinson’s, hypertension and psychotic disorders also cause dry mouth. Although rare, dry mouth can also be caused due to the side effects of sedatives and muscle relaxants.
• As the side effect of certain diseases- Although dry mouth is not a severe illness, it is caused due as a side effect of certain other diseases such as HIV or AIDS, cystic fibrosis, hypertension, mumps, stroke, and diabetes.
• As a side effect of certain medical treatments- As a result of certain medical treatments, the salivary gland may suffer a blow. Due to this, it will fail to produce the required amount of saliva which will ultimately lead to a dry and poorly moisturized mouth. The well-known medical treatments which cause dry mouth are radiation to the head and neck, as a result of chemotherapy for cancer treatment.
• Damage to the nerves- If the patient suffers from damage to the nerves of the head and neck as a result of certain injuries and or surgeries, the salivary glands get affected and lead to dry mouth.
• As a result of Dehydration- Dehydration caused as a result of certain other diseases such as fever, vomiting, blood loss is one of the most common causes of dry mouth.
• Due to lifestyle- A way of life that involves chewing tobacco on a regular basis or smoking can severely limit the amount of saliva produced in your mouth.(1) If you breathe with your mouth opens for most of the time, you can suffer from dry mouth.
• A surgical removal of the salivary glands as a result of certain medical conditions is also a cause for dry mouth.
How to treat dry mouth
If you think that your dry mouth is a side effect of the medication you are taking on a regular basis, you should consult your doctor immediately and seek their advice. If left untreated, dry mouth can lead quickly to other more severe diseases.
If consulting your physician doesn’t resolve the issue, the list below contains 24 home remedies to get rid of dry mouth.
Dry Mouth Home Remedies
Home remedies are always the best treatment for any disease. They are easy to execute, hassle free and show very quick results as well. Continue reading below to know about 24 home remedies for dry mouth-
1. Chewing sugar-free candies
It is widely known that sugar or any food item containing sugar stimulates the salivary gland which produces more saliva as a result. If you are suffering from dry mouth, you can munch or suck sugar free candies to get rid of the problem. Citrus, Cinnamon, and Mint should be your ideal choices for quick relief from dry mouth.
2. Control the amount of alcohol consumption
Limiting your alcohol consumption doesn’t necessarily mean to control the direct intake of the liquid. You need to restrict the usage of products that contain a high level of alcohol such as mouthwash and other daily consumables. To make up for the lost alcohol content, you can prepare your very own mouthwash by mixing-
a. 1 cup of warm water
b. ¼ teaspoon of baking soda
c. 1/8 teaspoon salt
Take small sips and rinse your mouth every day for 3 hours during the daytime. After this, use plain water to rinse your mouth.
3. Always keep yourself hydrated
Drinking small quantities of water at regular intervals of 5 minutes will stop the mouth from drying out completely, as this will promote the salivary glands to produce more saliva.
4. Use soft bristled toothbrush
If you use a hard-bristled toothbrush to clean your teeth, is it high time for a reform. A soft bristled will reach all the cavities between your teeth and clean all the bacteria responsible for causing bad breath. Simultaneously it also prevents the formation of dry mouth.
5. Breathe through your nose
Avoid breathing through your mouth, as it will limit the formation of dry mouth. If you have congestion in your nose which is forcing you to breathe through your mouth, consult your doctor and take medication to remove the congestion. Breathing through the nose is beneficial for the body in more ways than one.
6. Use a humidifier at night
If you have too much moisture in your room, it can be the cause of a dry mouth. By using a humidifier at night, you can control the humidity in your room and thus the chances of having a dry mouth.
7. Gargle two times a day
To further stimulate your salivary glands to produce saliva, gargle twice a day with a mixture of 1 cup warm water and ½ teaspoon of salt mixed in it.
8. Take steam on a regular basis
Another method that can be used to open your airways and nostrils is by taking in steam.
9. Consume pepper daily
Consuming pepper on a regular basis, pepper stimulates your salivary glands to increase the production of saliva. You can sprinkle a small amount of cayenne pepper on your salad or rub a bit of ground pepper on your tongue, to assist in the process.
10. Fennel seeds
Chewing fennel seeds after every meal of the day counters the problem of dry mouth and bad breath. Alternately, you can mix fenugreek seeds and fennel seeds and roast them. Roast and then grind the same. Add salt to taste. Chew a ½ teaspoon of this mixture after every meal of the day.
11. Try oil pulling
A traditional Indian method of combating dry mouth is oil pulling. In this process, you need to gargle your mouth with 1 tablespoon of extra virgin coconut oil for 15 minutes. After gargling rinse your mouth with warm water. While using this process, you need to take care that you don’t swallow the oil, as it is injurious to health.
12. Chew cardamom seeds
Chewing on cardamom seeds after every meal does wonder for your body. Not only does it several benefits for your metabolic system, but it also moistens your mouth and relieves you of bad breath. If you are not comfortable with chewing dry cardamom seeds, you can alternatively grind and add a few in a glass of warm water, and boil it for 10 minutes. The hot water mixed with cardamom can be drunk once or twice in a week, or you can also drink cardamom tea once or twice on a regular basis.
13. Consume ginger
You might have read earlier that ginger is very useful is activating your salivary glands. The activation of your salivary glands ensures that your mouth is wet and moistened at all times of the day and also saves you from bad breath. Chewing ginger on a daily basis is an ideal home remedy for dry mouth.
14. Drink Aloe Vera juice
Drinking 1/4th of a cup on a regular basis will help you battle dry mouth or rinsing your mouth with Aloe Vera juice.
15. Mix slippery elm with water
When a small portion of slippery elm is mixed with water, a smooth gel is formed which is helpful in treating many mouth diseases including dry mouth.
16. Use grapeseed oil
You can also check the availability of grapeseed oil at your local store. Rubbing grapeseed oil on your tongue and inner cheeks will help you combat dry mouth and bad breath.
17. Increase the intake of fluids in your body on a general basis. Drink more of water and other fluids such as herbal tea, which are useful in treating dry mouth.
18. If drinking ample amount of water is not favorable for you, suck on small chunks of ice at various times of the day.
19. Consuming partly frozen fruits at regular intervals during the day can help as well.
20. If fruits are not an item of your liking, you can choose to drink various smoothies and or vegetable and fruit juices.
21. Drinking of coconut water once or twice regularly is a major help.
22. Herbal teas like ginger and green tea can be consumed on a daily basis.
23. Avoid eating hard foods and rather opt for soft foods and liquids such as soups.
24. Exercise more and rinse your mouth more often with the above-mentioned products.
Preventive measures to avoid dry mouth
You can adopt the following steps to prevent dry mouth-
• Intake of more fluids such as water, smoothies, juices.
• Rinsing and cleaning your mouth every day.
• Chew fennel or cardamom seeds after every meal to save yourself from bad breath.
• Drink more herbal tea and Aloe Vera or Grapeseed Oil
• Drink or consume at least one or two glasses of coconut oil every day.
• Avoid hard foods and instead for soft ones.
Xerostomia if left untreated for extended periods of time can lead to dry mouth diabetes, or chronic dry mouth, therefore, it is of utmost importance that you get rid of severe dry mouth at the earliest. You can also use certain essential oils for dry mouth or some treatment products to get rid of dry mouth at midnight.