The ABCs of Home Dry Mouth Remedies
There's no need to get all choked up about it. But there are some sticky situations that require dry mouth remedies. Imagine an event where you encounter a) crackers, b) opportunities to speak to an audience or small group, and c) an attractive attendee.
Imagine that event again. This time you're a) choking on a cracker, b) choking on your speech or conversation, or c) choking the attractive attendee with your halitosis.
Not exactly a fun scene for xerostomiacs, or people with whittled down spittle, is it? If you've never experienced these problems, you might be one of the lucky people who produces three or more pints of saliva per day.
Or, you could be one of many who needs dry mouth relief.
How else can you tell you have xerostomia, if you don't choke on crackers, conversation or chronic halitosis? Well you might need dry mouth remedies if you experience these:
- Increased tooth decay, gum disease or plaque buildup
- Thick, stringy saliva
- Sticky, dry sensations in the mouth and throat
- Burning mouth syndrome
- Altered sense of taste (food, not fashion)
- Rough, dry tongue
- Cracked skin or sores around the mouth
- Oral infections (fungal or bacterial)
- Uncomfortable dentures
- Lipstick sticking to teeth too often
Any of these might justify an appointment to visit the dentist for dry mouth remedies and damage control. Xerostomia generates gingivitis, periodontitis and cavities faster than you can squeeze dry mouth relief from a glob of toothpaste.
You may be at risk for xerostomia and in need of a dry mouth remedy if:
- You take over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription medications
- You suffer chronic sinusitis, diabetes, Sjögren's Syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis or any number of other illnesses
- You underwent radiation or chemotherapy
- You snore or mouth-breathe habitually
- You're over 65 or getting there
But there's hope. Your dentist can determine xerostomia causes and prescribe professional treatments. In the meantime, take comfort in home dry mouth remedies:
Access the Tried & True
Apply fluoride. We use fluoride toothpastes regularly, but also try a fluoridated mouth rinse for dry mouth relief. It lubes your oral cavity and protects your teeth from tooth decay.
Bring out the water. An obvious choice. Even before you try another dry mouth remedy, sip water as necessary. Suck ice chips for more dry mouth relief (not recommended if you have cavities or tooth sensitivity).
Chew gum. Sugar-free gums and candies provide great dry mouth remedies. They stimulate the salivary glands and keep the mouth moist.
Beware Bad Behaviors
Abstain from alcohol. Alcohol dehydrates. When looking for a dry mouth remedy, reduce or eliminate alcohol consumption. Avoid mouth rinses with alcohol.
Bypass bottled beverages. For dry mouth remedies, drop the sports drinks and sodas, including the diet varieties. Even if they're not loaded with sugar, they most likely contain acids. And both sugars and acids promote tooth decay. Try cleaning your mouth after consuming fruits, juices and other acid-laden foods for dry mouth relief.
Control caffeine. Another dehydrator, watch your caffeine intake from coffees, teas, beverages, chocolate, etc. Unfortunately, some dry mouth remedies include cutting back on things we love most.
Ditch the tobacco. Not just another dehydrator, tobacco smoking and chewing makes toxic tongue and a playground for bacteria. A no tobacco policy practically guarantees some dry mouth relief.
Change Customary Conduct
Attempt acupuncture. A recent but limited study by the University of Texas indicates that acupuncture helped a group of radiation patients find dry mouth relief within weeks.
Breathe better. Breathing through your nose rather than your mouth is another obvious dry mouth remedy.
Crank up clammy. Why not try using a humidifier in the bedroom as one of your dry mouth remedies, especially if you suffer dry mouth at night? It might help you snore less too.
Dentists Commit to Spit
Besides repairing xerostomia damage, dentists look for its cause and a dry mouth remedy too. Compile a list of your herbal, OTC and prescription drugs first. Dentists can suggest substitutes while checking for cavities and gum disease. (Make sure all recommended drug changes are approved by your doctor. Dry mouth relief shouldn't cause other medical difficulties.)
Ask your dentist to recommend a dry mouth remedy like a saliva substitute, saliva stimulator or a saliva helper to fight bacteria. Prescription and OTC treatments are available.
Need a dentist? We'll find a dentist close to you to recommend dry mouth remedies and provide professional treatments. Call 1-866-970-0441.