Saliva is a natural lubricant for your mouth, without it, you would find it very hard even to talk. If you are having a hard time with a dry mouth problem, you consider consulting a Doctor and find out what might be the root cause of the problem. You can also try over the counter remedies like saliva substitutes which will lift the condition to a more agreeable level. As always the simple and most straightforward way is to drink plenty of water.
Why do you have dry mouth?
You are having a dry mouth is because the mucous membrane in your mouth has dried out and is deprived of saliva. This can happen due to various reasons which include drugs, medications, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and due to an autoimmune condition called Sjögren’s syndrome. Dry mouth is more prevalent among people over 65 years of age. Reports say, nearly 40 percent of the people who are over 65 years have this condition. Dry mouth cannot only annoy you by restricting your speech, it can also lead to many other oral and dental problems like cavities, plaque buildup, bad breath, and infections.
Check your drugs
One of the major contributing factors for dry mouth is medications. If you are using certain medications on a regular basis, check its label to see if the list of possible side effects include “Dry mouth” if it does, then try to ask your Doctor for an alternative drug that doesn’t have the same effect. Some of the common medications that can induce this problem include antihistamines, decongestants, Prozac (fluoxetine), Norvasc (amlodipine), Paxil (paroxetine), and Vasotec (enalapril).
Carry a water bottle always
Another major reason could be, you are not just drinking enough water every day. Doctors recommend drinking at least 3 liters of water a day. But, as it goes most people do not drink that much water a day. Try to carry a water bottle with you at all times and take a sip now and then. Make sure to swirl the water around your mouth before gulping it down. This way you can avoid dehydration and at the same time keep your mouth well lubricated at all times.
To stimulate your saliva glands in the process, you can squeeze in some lemon extract to the water or add half a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar.
Trigger Saliva Production
- Chew sugarless chewing gums as it stimulates the saliva production. These chewing gums contain a chemical compound called xylitol which fights cavity-inducing bacterias.
- Make your food little spicy by adding some red peppers. The hot taste will make your mouth to salivate more. If you do not like spice, then try to get adapted to it or keep the spices at moderate levels.
- Traditionally echinacea herb is known to stimulate saliva production in the mouth. Take the herb in tincture form. Add 10 to 15 drops of this tincture to your juice and drinks. Try to include this tincture for every 8 hours, and Doctors recommend using it for at least 8 weeks to notice best results.
Avoid mouth drying agents
- Caffeine-rich and caffeine-containing drinks, in general, will make you urinate more frequently. This can lead to fluid loss and dehydration to your body. And the direct consequence of it is dry mouth. So avoid or moderate the intake of caffeine-rich drinks as much as possible.
- Avoid sodas, acidic juices, and carbonated drinks, most of these drinks have acid content. When your mouth is dry without saliva, you cannot break down the acids these drinks contain. So it can end up hurting your mouth.
- Similar to acidic and caffeine-rich drinks, salty foods can also make your mouth feel drier. If you love salty and flavored food items like chips, try to take it in moderation or avoid it completely.
- Sugar can make you salivate more, but excessive sugar intake will have opposite effect. So keep it at the minimum level.
- If you are a smoker, then quit it. Tobacco doesn’t just dry up your mouth, it comes in with a host of other health problems. Oral cancer is one of it.
When to Seek Doctors Help?
If your dry mouth problem doesn’t go away after few days even after taking necessary measures mentioned above, then its time to consult it with your Doctor. Also, you might need a Doctor’s attention when your dry mouth condition is accompanied with difficulty in speaking, reddening of your tongue and mouth, and your mouth feels irritating. Additionally, when you consult your Doctor, do not forget to mention about the medications or drugs you might be taking at present. Like mentioned earlier, medication is a major contributing factor for dry mouth.
Avoid getting your mouth at nights
Night times can easily get your mouth dry and this can sometimes spoil your sleep as well. To avoid this, try to drink a generous amount of water before you get to sleep. Also, keep a water bottle by your side, just in case if you feel your mouth has dried up in the middle of the night.
Keep your humidifier or vaporizer running in your bedroom at night.
Choose the right mouthwash
Many popular mouthwashes at the stores contain alcohol in it. Though these products will make your mouth fresh for a while, the alcohol present in it will dry up your mouth as well. So opt for a mouthwash that is alcohol-free.
You can also prepare your own mouthwash solution at home almost instantly. Just add one-eighth teaspoon of salt and one-quarter teaspoon of baking soda to a cup of water, mix it well. Use this solution as a mouthwash to get rid of infection-causing agents, and to nullify the acid content in your mouth.
Take care of your teeth
Most toothpastes at the stores contain a compound called Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), it can damage your mouth tissues and cause irritation. So always opt for a toothpaste that doesn’t contain SLS.
Dry mouth becomes a magnet for food particles, it can make your mouth to smell bad. This can get extremely embarrassing at times. To avoid this, brush and floss your mouth thoroughly. Use a mouthwash.
Breath through your nose
When you breathe in through your nose, you naturally moisturize the air that goes into your body. But, at times like when you are affected by the sinus infection and you have clogged your nose, you would want to breathe through your mouth. This makes you inhale a lot of dry air from the outside, which will dry out your mouth. If you are suffering from any infections or sinus problem try to get it treated and cured in order to avoid dry mouth.