Dry mouth – medically termed as xerostomia, is a condition where saliva formation becomes less, and your mouth becomes dry and sticky as a result. This condition is often followed by the dry throat, bad breath, dry tongue, tingly feeling in the mouth, trouble swallowing, and unquenchable thirst. Some causes of dry mouth can be an ongoing medical treatment, lack of moisture in the mouth, gingivitis or irritation of gums, radiation therapy, menopause, swelling or irritation at the corners of the mouth, yeast infection, and cigarette smoking. Keeping your mouth hydrated at all times seems to be the only possible way to ease this problem, as it will encourage your body to produce more saliva. Low levels of saliva reduce the ability of the mouth to fight off bacteria. Saliva in the mouth helps chew the food properly and improves digestion, thus preventing tooth decay. However, there are many more ways to treat this problem. Find out some amazing home remedies to get rid of dry mouth in this post.
Home Remedies for Dry Mouth
1. Chew Sugar-free Candies
2. Limit Alcohol
Avoid using mouthwash that contains alcohol, as this may cause over drying of the mouth (6, 7). Instead, prepare your mouthwash using 1 cup warm water, 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. Take small sips and rinse your mouth every 3 hours during the day. Then wash your mouth with plain water (8).
3. Keep Yourself Hydrated
Increase your fluid intake or keep on sipping water every 5 minutes to avoid mouth from drying completely. Proper hydration will encourage the salivary glands to secrete saliva (9).
Here are some ways to keep yourself hydrated:
- Drink sufficient amount of water throughout the day or suck pieces of ice, in case, you are not able to drink enough water (10, 11).
- Another way to consume water is to eat pieces of partly frozen fruits and vegetables like watermelon, muskmelon, cucumber and pineapple.
- Drink 1-2 glasses of coconut water daily.
- Take more liquid foods (like soups and stews) instead of solid ones.
4. Change Your Toothbrush
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush for cleaning your teeth. It will reach the crevices of the teeth; thus, cleaning up the mouth effectively and keeping the bad breath causing bacteria at bay. Subsequently, it prevents drying of the mouth (12).
5. Breathe through Nose
Do not respire through your mouth when you have the problem of dry mouth. Instead, breathe through the nose. In case you have difficulty in breathing through your nose, make use of saline drops and take hot water steam to remove the congestion (13, 14).
6. Use Humidifier
Take 1 cup warm water and mix one half teaspoon salt in it. Gargle with this water 3-4 times a day. It will trigger salivary glands to secrete saliva and relieve the problem of dry mouth (17).
Inhale the steam from boiling water to open up the decongested nasal passage and airways (18).
9. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper stimulate the salivary glands and increases flow of saliva (19). Take a little bit of ground pepper on your finger and rub it around your tongue.
- Alternatively, you may also sprinkle cayenne pepper on your salad, soup or other dishes.
- Cayenne pepper is also available in the form of capsules, which can be taken after consulting a doctor.
10. Fennel Seeds
- Alternatively, mix equal quantities of fennel seeds and fenugreek seeds. Take a pan and dry roast them. Cool and grind them. Add a little salt to this mixture. Take ½ tbsp of this mixture either directly or with water after every meal.
11. Oil Pulling
Oil pulling involves many health benefits. It is a traditional Indian folk remedy to cure bleeding gums, dry mouth and many other dental problems (21). Gargle with 1 tbsp of extra virgin coconut oil and spit it out after 15 minutes. Afterwards, rinse your mouth with warm water.
Note – Do not swallow the oil.
Chew some cardamom seeds after every meal. It moistens the mouth and also relieves from the problem of bad breath (22). Alternatively, grind some cardamom seeds and add it to a glass of warm water. Let it boil for 10 minutes and drink it. It must be done once or twice daily. Or else, drink cardamom tea once or twice daily.
Ginger is considered very effective in activating the salivary glands and giving a fresh feel to the mouth (23). Chew a small piece of ginger. It acts as a great appetizer and simultaneously freshen the breath. Ginger juice helps solve the problem of dry mouth for a long time. Or else, drink 2-3 cups of ginger tea with honey daily, to stimulate your salivary glands.
Note – For more effective results, replace sugar with honey while making ginger tea.
Herbal Remedies for Dry Mouth
14. Slippery Elm
When mixed with water, slippery elm becomes slick gel as it contains mucilage. It is very effective in curing many mouth ailments, like drying of mouth, tooth decay and bad breath (24).
To use it, add 1-2 tbsp of slippery elm to a cup of hot water and boil it for 10 minutes. Strain this mixture; add honey to it when it cools. Drink this tea twice daily to get rid of all sorts of mouth problems.
- Alternatively, take some slippery elm and water and prepare a paste. Take a small portion of this paste and rotate it inside your mouth. Rinse your mouth with water afterwards. It must be done twice a day.
15. Aloe Vera
Rinse your mouth with aloe vera juice (25). Alternatively, drink ¼ cup of aloe vera juice. It will trigger salivary glands to secrete more saliva and thus help cure the problem of dry mouth.
You can even apply aloe vera gel around your mouth with a cotton swab. Leave it for a few minutes and then rinse your mouth with cold water at least 2-3 times a day.
There has been a limited research for the use of aloe vera in curing dry mouth problem (26).
16. Grapeseed Oil
With the help of your fingers, rub some grapeseed oil on your tongue and the internal part of your cheeks. Leave it overnight and rinse your mouth with warm water in the morning. After this, brush your teeth.
- Make use of toothpaste and mouth rinse that contains fluoride (27, 28, 29).
- Rinse your mouth with warm water after eating food.
- Brush and floss your teeth, and clean your tongue regularly to avoid tooth decay and dry mouth (30, 31).
- Drink water or sugarless drinks often (32, 33)
- Avoid coffee and other drinks containing caffeine as caffeine can dry out the mouth (34).
- Avoid taking oily and spicy food as these may trigger the inner walls of the mouth and interfere with the saliva production (35, 36, 37).
- Shun salty and dry foods, like cookies, crackers, toasts, dry bread, etc (38).
- Stay away from acidic foods like tomato, orange, apple, grapefruit, grapes, etc. These fruits turn the pH balance of the body acidic and induce increased urination and instant drying of the mouth (39).
- Avoid making use of antihistamines and decongestants, unless your doctor prescribes them.
- Don’t smoke and avoid alcohol (40, 41).
- Don’t drink tomato, orange, grapefruit or lemon juice (42).