Best Tips for the Treatment and Prevention of Dry Mouth

The texture and appearance of your tongue says a lot about you suffering from dry mouth.

Dry mouth is an oral health issue that has several causes. Medically referred to as xerostomia, it happens when the mouth’s saliva production stops or shuts down. But it really isn’t something that’s utterly serious because you alone can treat it. You just have to know how.

You should know that there’s really no such thing as the best way to treat this condition because your approach will depend primarily on what is causing it. While you are able to do things in order to give it temporary relief, you may have to identify the cause in order to figure out a long-term solution.

In Mayo Clinic‘s official blog, there’s a bunch of tips on how you can provide temporary relief to your dry mouth. See them below:

  • Chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free hard candies to stimulate the flow of saliva. For some people, xylitol, which is often found in sugar-free gum or sugar-free candies, may cause diarrhea or cramps if consumed in large amounts.
  • Limit your caffeine intake because caffeine can make your mouth drier.
  • Don’t use mouthwashes that contain alcohol because they can be drying.
  • Stop all tobacco use if you smoke or chew tobacco.
  • Sip water regularly.
  • Try over-the-counter saliva substitutes — look for products containing xylitol, such as Mouth Kote or Oasis Moisturizing Mouth Spray, or ones containing carboxymethylcellulose (kahr-bok-see-meth-ul-SEL-u-lohs) or hydroxyethyl cellulose (hi-drok-see-ETH-ul SEL-u-lohs), such as Biotene Oral Balance.
  • Try a mouthwash designed for dry mouth — especially one that contains xylitol, such as Biotene Dry Mouth Oral Rinse or ACT Total Care Dry Mouth Rinse, which also offer protection against tooth decay.
  • Avoid using over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants because they can make your symptoms worse.
  • Breathe through your nose, not your mouth.
  • Add moisture to the air at night with a room humidifier.

Source: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dry-mouth/expert-answers/dry-mouth/faq-20058424

You might be wondering why you have dry mouth in the first place. Keep in mind that when it happens to you, it means your mouth isn’t producing enough saliva. And when everything’s dry in there, it means that your teeth and gums are put at a certain level of risk. Sometimes, the simplest cause of it is because you don’t brush your teeth regularly or you frequently eat acidic and sugary food.

Acidic food can cause dry mouth. (image credit: WikiHow.com)

In the website MedicineNet.com meanwhile, we found some information about the symptoms of dry mouth. You likewise should read it in order to figure out if you really are suffering from it.

Symptoms include:

  • a sticky, dry feeling in the mouth
  • trouble chewing, swallowing, tasting, or speaking
  • a burning feeling in the mouth
  • a dry feeling in the throat
  • cracked lips
  • a dry, rough tongue
  • mouth sores
  • an infection in the mouth

The same post goes on to mention the possible causes:

What causes dry mouth?

People get dry mouth when the glands in the mouth that make saliva are not working properly. Because of this, there might not be enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. There are several reasons why these glands (called salivary glands) might not work right.

Side effects of some medicines. More than 400 medicines can cause the salivary glands to make less saliva. For example, medicines for high blood pressure and depression often cause dry mouth.

Disease. Some diseases affect the salivary glands. Sjogren’s syndrome, HIV/AIDS, and diabetes can all cause dry mouth.

Radiation therapy. The salivary glands can be damaged if they are exposed to radiation during cancer treatment.

Chemotherapy. Drugs used to treat cancer can make saliva thicker, causing the mouth to feel dry.

Nerve damage. Injury to the head or neck can damage the nerves that tell salivary glands to make saliva.

If you want to read the rest of the article, click here.

While there are conventional ways of preventing dry mouth, there might come a time when you no longer can avoid it. At this point, you have no other choice but to treat it. Well, you can always visit your dentist to ask for help if you want it addressed as soon as possible. But then again, you also have the option of treating it yourself using home remedies.

(image credit: VKool.com)

In an article titled “Home Remedies for Dry Mouth” from Top10HomeRemedies.com, there are several practical home remedies you can make to solve your problem. We find three of them to be the most convenient for you to make.

Aloe Vera

An age-old remedy to treat dry mouth is aloe vera. It also helps protect the sensitive tissue in the mouth and enhances the taste buds.

Drink ¼ cup of aloe vera juice daily to cure dry mouth.
You can also rinse your mouth with aloe vera juice a few times a day.
Alternatively, apply pure aloe vera gel around your mouth using a cotton swab. Leave it on for several minutes and then rinse your mouth with cold water. Do this 2 or 3 times a day.

Increase Fluid Intake

Dehydration is one of the most common reasons behind dry mouth. So, the best thing you can do is increase your fluid intake to keep your body hydrated. Proper hydration will make it easier for your body to produce more saliva and help get rid of the symptoms of dry mouth.

Consume an ample amount of water throughout the day. If you cannot drink water, suck on small pieces of ice.
Eat partly frozen chunks of water-based fruits and vegetables like pineapple, watermelon and cucumber.
Drink smoothies, fruit juice or vegetable juice.
Drink 1 to 2 glasses of coconut water daily.
Drink herbal teas like green tea, chamomile tea, or others.
Eat soft and liquid foods like stews and soups.

Slippery Elm

Slippery elm contains mucilage. Due to this substance, it becomes a slick gel when mixed with water. This gel helps coat and soothe the mouth as well as the throat. Plus, it can effectively relieve many discomforts associated with dry mouth.

Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of slippery elm to a cup of hot water. Cover and allow it to steep for 10 minutes. Strain, add honey and drink this tea twice daily.

Another option is to prepare a paste with some slippery elm bark powder and enough water. Apply it inside the mouth, leave it on for a few minutes and then rinse your mouth with water. Do this once or twice daily.

See the other home remedies suggested here.

Once you’re done reading this article, you must understand that dry mouth is a minor oral health issue that needs to be resolved as soon as possible. Why the condition itself isn’t life threatening, it may lead to complications and more serious oral health problems.

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Best Tips for the Treatment and Prevention of Dry Mouth

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