There are several reasons why this happens. It may be a result of old age, severe anxiety, excessive smoking and alcohol intake. Dehydration is yet another reason why one will experience a dry mouth, particularly on days when it is very hot.
Expectant women and lactating mothers are also at risk of getting a dry mouth, thanks to the hormonal changes associated with the different stages of a woman’s life. In some cases, dry mouth is associated with the use of specific medication.
The most common culprits in this regard include anti-depressants, drugs used to treat pain in the nerves, decongestants as well as anti-histamines.Other causes of a dry mouth include chemotherapy treatment and diabetes.
Whenever you suffer a dry mouth, you will experience excessive thirst which seemingly does not get quenched even after taking water. Other symptoms of dry mouth include mouth odor, chapped lips, a parched feeling on the tounge as well as loss of taste sensation. Some people will also experience difficulties talking and chewing. This dryness is a great source of discomfort, and it is little wonder that this condition is sometimes referred to as a ‘cotton mouth’. Luckily, there are simple home remedies that you can use to treat dry mouth at home and eliminate the symptoms of the same. Ensure that you use the remedies consistently until the condition clears.
1. Ensure Body is Hydrated:
Time Required: Spread throughout the day.
What You Need: Drinking water and a host of fluids.
As mentioned above, dehydration is one of the most common causes of a dry mouth. For this reason, one of the most obvious solutions is to ensure that you stay hydrated. Do this by increasing your daily water and fluid intake. This constant intake allows the body to increase saliva production, effectively reversing the effects of dehydration. The catch is to ensure that the fluid intake is spread throughout the day, and not just once a day. Below are some of the simple tips to get you started on this effective home remedy.
- Take adequate water during the day. Aside from the popular 8-glasses-a-day phenomenon, it is important to check with your doctor especially if you suffer from disorders affecting renal function. One of the simple ways to do this is to keep a bottle of water on your desk and sip it every now and then. The proximity of the bottle serves as a mental cue for you to take some water. If you are not used to this and feel that the taste of water is a little ‘plain’, you can always add lemon wedges for a refreshing taste.
- In addition to adequate drinking water, it is recommended that you eat many water-based fruits and vegetables in order to increase saliva production. These include a watermelon, cucumber, lettuce as well as pineapple.
- Get to blend a smoothie and/or some fresh fruit juice to keep hydrated.
4. Herbal tea is also a great remedy for hydration purposes. It not only gets rid of toxins in the body, it also keeps dehydration at bay.
- Other fluids that you can add to treat a dry mouth include bone broth, soups and stews.
- Lastly, avoid drinks that cause dehydration as they contribute to mouth dryness. Until the symptoms clear, stay away from caffeinated drinks, alcohol and carbonated sodas.
2. Oil Pulling:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 2 Teaspoons of coconut or sesame oil and warm water to rinse. You may also use any other edible vegetable oil.
Oil pulling is an ancient technique that has long been used for the maintenance of proper oral health. For this reason, it is extremely beneficial in the treatment of dry mouth. You will need edible vegetable oil for this remedy as the oil works by keeping the mouth moist. Oil pulling has the advantage of eliminating toxins from the mouth while getting rid of bad breath, both symptoms associated with dry mouth.
- Place 2 teaspoons of the oil in your mouth.
- Swish the oil in your mouth repeatedly for 10-15 minutes, ensuring that you do not swallow the oil. The latter is important because the oil will often be packed with toxins that must not be introduced to the digestive system. It is also for the same reason that you should not gargle the oil.
- Spit the used oil before using warm water to rinse your mouth.
- Proceed with your usual tooth brushing routine.
- Use this remedy at least once daily, preferably before you have eaten anything. In addition, make sure that you stay hydrated by taking enough fluids and water as mentioned in Remedy 1 above.
3. Red Cayenne Pepper:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Ground cayenne pepper
Red cayenne pepper is one of the best ways to stimulate the production of saliva in the mouth. While it has a fiery hot taste at the onset, this dissipates and gives way to increased saliva in the mouth. The other advantage of using cayenne pepper is that it is known to enhance the function of the taste buds, allowing you to make a distinction between different flavors as recognized by the tongue – bitter, sweet, sour and salty.
- Using a clean finger, wet it and then place it on a teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper.
- Transfer the pepper to your tongue and rub it gently. You will feel a burning sensation for a while, but the production of saliva that follows gives the intended result in the treatment of dry mouth.
- You may also add the cayenne pepper to your daily food for the same reason. Note however, that since heat is applied to cook the food, you may need less ground pepper to get the same effect.
4. Chew Some Gum or Suck on Some Candy:
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: Sugar free gum or candy.
Chewing gum or taking candy is one of the easiest ways to relieve mouth dryness. This is because the very act of chewing stimulates the action of the salivary glands, effectively increasing the amount of saliva in the mouth. The ideal way to go about this is to use sugar free gum and/or candy.
It is important to do this because it reduces the risk of teeth damage, especially if used over a considerable period of time. Note, however, that sugar free gum and/or candy may contain xylitol, an additive that may cause diarrhea when taken in large amounts.
- Whenever you feel like your mouth is parched, simply chew on some gum or take candy. After about 15 minutes, you should start feeling better.
5. Aloe Vera Gel:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Aloe vera leaf, cotton wool, and warm water to rinse. You may also use aloe vera juice.
Aloe vera is an age old remedy that has been used for the natural treatment of an array of conditions. When used to treat dry mouth, the gel is preferred because it helps improve saliva production in the mouth. Aloe vera is also recommended for the role it plays in improving the sensitivity of the taste buds while protecting the tissue found in the oral cavity. Below are two different ways in which you can use aloe vera.
Using aloe vera gel:
- Chop the edges of the aloe vera leaf in order to release the gel which you will collect in a small bowl.
- Place the cotton wool in the gel and gently use it to wipe your mouth. The gel has a distinct taste that does take some getting used to.
- Leave the gel on for about 10 minutes.
- Rinse your mouth using the warm water. Use this remedy thrice daily for best results.
Using aloe vera juice:
- Simply take 3 tablespoons of aloe vera juice daily in order to get relief from the symptoms of a dry mouth.
- Alternatively, rinse your mouth with the juice during your usual tooth brushing routine.
6. Salty Water Gargle:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: 1/2 Teaspoon of table salt and 1 glass of warm water.
Best known for treating sore throats, warm salty water gargle is also effective for the treatment of dry mouth. The salt present in the remedy is known to stimulate the activity of the salivary glands, which in turn secrete enough saliva thus providing relief from the condition. This remedy also has the advantage of eliminating bad breath, one of the most common symptoms of xerostamia. Use this simple remedy as follows.
- Place the salt in the water and stir well to dissolve.
- Use the resulting solution to gargle for about 5 minutes at a go.
- Repeat this procedure thrice daily until the symptoms of dry mouth clear.
7. Lemon Water:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Freshly squeezed lemon juice, 2 teaspoons of honey, and 1 glass of warm water. Lemon wedge and a pinch of salt (optional)
Lemon juice is very bitter, and it is this very property that is required for the treatment of mouth dryness. The bitterness of the juice triggers the secretion of saliva by the salivary gland, thus ensuring the mouth remains moist. Honey compliments this function, and is also added as a natural sweetener. By adding the ingredients to a glass of water, you are able to get rid of dehydration, and therefore treat the condition. If you prefer, you may use lemon wedges and a pinch of salt with the same effect.
- Add the fresh lemon juice to the glass of water and then stir in the honey.
- Sip this refreshing drink severally during the day.
- Alternatively, sprinkle some salt on the lemon wedge and suck on it during the day. Use this remedy daily until the dryness clears.
8. Ginger Tea:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Fresh ginger root (small piece, about 0.5″), 1 cup of water, pestle and mortar, sieve, and 2 teaspoons of raw honey.
Ginger is recommended for the treatment of dry mouth as it improves the activity of the salivary glands, thus secreting more saliva in the mouth. Ginger has also been shown to eliminate mouth odor, making it a reliable remedy. You may prepare the tea using the ingredients listed above, or simply opt for the raw herb on its own.
Preparing the ginger tea:
- Peel and clean the ginger root before cutting into small pieces.
- You may further crush the ginger using a pestle and mortar in order to increase the surface area for the release of the active ingredients found in the ginger.
- Add the crushed ginger to the cup of water and transfer to a pan to boil for 5 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and allow the ginger to steep for another 5 minutes.
- Sieve the tea and stir in the honey.
- Drink this ginger tea twice daily.
Using the ginger root on its own:
- Peel and clean the ginger before cutting it into small pieces.
- Chew on a few pieces of the root at a time. Ginger has a sharp taste that creates a burning sensation for a short while, but whose healing effects make it a choice remedy for the treatment of dry mouth.
9. Cardamom Seeds:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Cardamom seeds, grinder, and 1 glass of warm water.
Cardamom seeds have a rich aroma that easily gets rid of bad breath when chewed. The seeds are also known to increase the amount of saliva in the mouth. Simply chew on the seeds or grind them to get a powder which you can use to prepare tea as indicated in the directions below.
- Place the seeds in the grinder and turn on to get the cardamom powder.
- Add the ground cardamom to the water and stir before transferring to a pan.
- Boil the mixture for 10 minutes and turn off the heat.
- Let the mixture steep for 5 minutes and then sieve.
- Drink this tea daily.
- You may also chew on the seeds after your meals.
It also helps to breathe through the nose and not the mouth as this causes further drying. In addition, you need to brush your teeth daily, preferably using fluoride toothpaste. Lastly, lower your salt intake as this easily causes dehydration. Opt for snacks that have a high water content instead.