What is dry mouth and what are its characteristic symptoms?
Xerostomia or commonly known as dry mouth is medical problem in which we do not have adequate amount of saliva present in our mouth and we feel unusual dryness in our tongue. In this condition, the production of saliva is decreased and we feel common symptoms like –
- Bad breath
- Excessive thirst
- Sore, sticky and stinging mouth
- Difficulty in speaking and chewing
- Dryness in mouth
- Change in sense of taste
- Tooth decay
- Irritation in gums and gum diseases
- Chapped lips and dry nasal passage
Saliva is highly essential in keeping our mouth and tongue moist and also aid in proper digestion. It prevents tooth decay and limits bacterial growth in our mouth. Sometimes, due to several reasons our salivary glands produce decreased amounts of saliva. Lack of saliva or dry mouth can lead to many complications and so it must be treated as soon as possible.
Here are some main causes leading to the problem of xerostomia or dryness of mouth –
- Side effects of medication such as muscle relaxants, sedatives, antihistamines, analgesics, etc.
- Dehydration due to lack of water intake
- Blood loss
- Excessive exercising
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Diseases like anemia, hypertension, diabetes, stroke, AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, etc.
- Chewing tobacco, alcoholism and smoking
- Snoring and breathing with mouth
- Nerve damage
- Chemotherapy and cancer treatment
The treatment of dryness of mouth can be easily done by using various home remedies for dry mouth straight out of our kitchens. One need not to try over-the-counter artificial substitutes of saliva when one can effectively rectify xerostomia and its symptoms using cheap and easily available herbal treatments.
Home Remedies for Dry Mouth
Home remedies for dry mouth and bad breath are always way better than opting for an allopathic or medicinal treatment as they are thousand times safer. They are readily available in our kitchen cabinets and gardens and one doesn’t need to go out and purchase them. Pure natural home remedies for dry mouth are very easy to use and show impressive results in treating the common problems. They are free from harmful side effects also which is the greatest perks of using herbal treatment for dry mouth.
- Water: It is one of the simplest home remedies for dry mouth as dehydration is one of the most common reasons for triggering this condition. Drinking lots of water preferably 4 liters daily will be very helpful in saliva production and keeping dry mouth at bay. Sucking on small ice cubes also proves to be highly effective in keeping our mouth moist. Fruits rich in water content must be consumed such as watermelon, cucumber, pineapple, etc. Coconut water, fruit juices, vegetable juices, fruit shakes, smoothies, soups and herbal teas are quite essential fluids to treat dry mouth. Just make sure that you do not add any sugar or too much of salt in them.
- Fennel Seeds or Aniseeds: Fennel seeds contain rich amounts of flavonoids that enhance saliva flow in our mouth. The aroma of aniseeds or fennel seeds helps in combating bad breath too. Take 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds and eat this mixture daily about 2 to 3 times a day. One can also add roasted fenugreek seeds in equal amounts and munch the mixture on a regular basis. These home remedies for dry mouth will increase the flow of saliva and will help getting rid of bad breath as well.
- Cardamom: Cardamom or Elaichi serves as amazing home remedies for dry mouth. Just chew a fresh pod of cardamom and get rid of dryness and soreness of mouth. Alternatively, warm 1 glass of pure water and add 1 teaspoon of cardamom powder to it and stir well. Take this herbal drink every day as it moistens our mouth and treats foul breath. One may also make an herbal green tea on adding 1 or 2 cardamom pods in it and sip this brewing tea in a daily manner.
- Oil pulling: Oil pulling is thousands of years old ayurvedic technique that is counted as one of the utterly beneficial home remedies for dry mouth and foul breath treatment. It brings about moisture in our mouth, maintains oral health and keeps bad breath at bay. Put 1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil or sesame oil in your mouth and gently swish it around for over 10-15 minutes. Spew it out and wash your mouth with water. Follow this procedure empty stomach, every morning before brushing your teeth and. Do not gargle or drink the oil.
- Aloe Vera: Drinking aloe vera juice in an ancient old remedy to get rid of dry mouth. It also enhances the taste buds and protects our gums. Drink half a cup aloe vera juice on a daily basis to treat xerostomia. Alternatively, use aloe vera juice as a mouthwash and rinse your mouth with it 2 to 3 times a day. One can also apply fresh aloe vera gel inside the mouth over teeth and tongue to naturally cure the dryness of mouth. These simple aloe vera based home remedies for dry mouth work marvelously in averting all symptoms of xerostomia.
- Lemon: Lemon juice contains citric acid that helps in keeping our mouth clean and mitigates bad breath. The home remedies for dry mouth made out of lemon juice enhance the production of saliva and relive drying of mouth. Drink sugarless lemonade once in a day or make a lemon-honey drink to alleviate xerostomia. Make lemon and honey drink by adding few drops of honey into half a lemon and 1 glass of water. Stir the contents well and sip it on a daily basis to keep the mouth hydrated.
- Ginger: Using ginger is one of the time-tested and age-old home remedies for dry mouth. Chewing a small piece of ginger proves helpful in keeping our mouth fresh and stimulating our salivary glands. One can grate a small piece of ginger and add it to green, black or herbal tea with few drops of honey. Drinking this ginger-based tea daily will prevent dry mouth and its symptoms.
Some extra tips for the prevention of dry mouth –
In addition to using the aforementioned home remedies for dry mouth, one must follow these mouth and teeth habits so as to achieve a speedy recovery. One must make a routine to abide by these healthy tips in order to maintain optimum oral health. These habits will also act as a preventive cure in avoiding xerostomia all together.
- Avoid tobacco intake and abstain from smoking and drinking alcohol. They are major reasons responsible for causing mouth dryness.
- Increase your fluid intake and drink lots of water and sugarless drinks.
- Do not drink too much coffee, tea and sodas as they contain high caffeine content which can dry out our mouth.
- Chew sugarless citrus, cinnamon or mint-flavored candies and gums to stimulate the flow of saliva in our mouth.
- Do not use over-the-counter antihistamines, decongestants, sedatives, muscle relaxants, etc. as they may lead to harmful side-effects to our mouth.
- Avoid eating too much salty, acidic, spicy, sugary and sticky food as much as you can. Well, it is permissible once in a while but regular consumption of such foods may be detrimental for our oral health.
- Add moisture to your surroundings at night using a room humidifier. Keep moisturizing your lips too with petroleum jelly.
- Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride content toothpaste. Also floss your teeth every night to maintain healthy teeth.
- Consume as many fruits and vegetable salads as you can so as to keep the mouth and tongue hydrated.
- Breathe only through your nose and avoid breathing by mouth. Seek treatment for snoring as it also leads to dry mouth
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