Dry mouth or ‘xerostomia’ is a condition where saliva production decreases and your mouth becomes dry and sticky as a result. This condition is often followed by a dry throat, bad breath, a dry tongue, a tingly feeling in the mouth, trouble swallowing, and an unquenchable thirst. The causes of dry mouth are varied but include medications, gingivitis, menopause, stress, swelling of the mouth, yeast infection, and smoking. Low levels of saliva reduce the ability of the mouth to fight off bacteria as saliva helps break down food, prevent tooth decay and improves digestion. However, if you are wondering how to get rid of dry mouth, then fear not. You can try out our dry mouth remedies at home. They will keep your mouth moist and saliva flowing.
1. Chew Sugar-free Candies
Chewing naturally stimulates the saliva glands and chewing on any object will do the trick.
However, the one remedy that was almost designed to get rid of dry mouth is gum.
2. Limit Alcohol
Alcohol also is a diuretic which means that it encourages your kidneys to drain your body of water, dehydrating you. Reducing alcohol content is a good dry mouth remedy to start off with.
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
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.
- Sip water or a sugarless drink as you eat meals. This will help you to chew and swallow more easily.
4. Try saliva substitutes
They are designed to feel like saliva and lubricate the mouth. With regular use, they can relieve the chronic discomfort from dry mouth.
Artificial saliva is not a perfect substitute as it does not contain the microbes in saliva that protect against tooth decay and help break down food.
However, it does contain compounds that emulate the viscosity or thickness of saliva which helps promote moisture retention.
While they are one of the most effective home remedies for dry mouth, many people do complain about the taste. They are also the most expensive dry mouth remedy.
5. Breathe through Nose
6. Use Humidifier
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 stimulates and mildly irritates the tastes buds which causes the salivary glands to switch on and increase the 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 has 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. Afterward, 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 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.
Chew a small piece of ginger. It acts as a great appetizer and simultaneously freshens the breath.
Ginger juice also is one of the best dry mouth remedies and carrying a small bottle around with you can help get rid of dry mouth while on the move.
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.
14. Slippery Elm
It is very effective in curing many mouth ailments and is an excellent dry mouth remedy as well as 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 afterward. It must be done twice a day.
15. Aloe Vera
Rinse your mouth with aloe vera juice (25). Alternatively, drink a 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
Another remedy to get rid of dry mouth, similar to oil pulling, is to rub some grapeseed oil on your tongue and your inner cheek.
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 eating 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 (41).
- Don’t drink tomato, orange, grapefruit or lemon juice (42).