How to Overcome Dry Mouth
Does your mouth feel uncomfortably dry? Many adults suffer from dry mouth, known medically as xerostomia or hyposalivation, which happens when the salivary glands don’t produce enough saliva. It’s a problem, because saliva is necessary for washing away debris and protecting your mouth from harmful acids. Without enough saliva, the mouth is vulnerable. Causes of dry mouth vary, but sometimes home remedies can provide some relief.
First, let’s discuss possible causes of dry mouth. It could be as simple as dehydration, or it could be the result of a medication you’re taking. Smoking can cause dry mouth, as can drinking alcohol. Sometimes, though, dry mouth is the result of a medical condition like diabetes, kidney disease, Parkinson’s disease, immune/autoimmune disorders, anxiety or depression, anemia, or nutritional deficiency. If you think your dry mouth might be the result of an illness, see a doctor to rule it out before trying these home remedies.
- Hydrating can alleviate dry mouth. Drinking water can help with mild dehydration, and it can also rinse your mouth if your saliva isn’t getting the job done. Limit your caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, as these can be dehydrating.
- Mind your dental products. Don’t choose a mouthwash that contains mouth-drying alcohol. Instead, look for one created to help alleviate dry mouth. Ask your dentist if a prescription fluoride toothpaste, rinse, or gel might be beneficial.
- Try sugar free candy or gum. Chewing gum or sucking on hard candy can increase the flow of saliva. Just be careful to choose sugar-free products, because a dry mouth is more susceptible to cavities. Look for gum with the ADA seal of acceptance.
- Use a humidifier to moisten your mouth. Breathing in dry air doesn’t help a dry mouth, so use a humidifier, especially when you’re sleeping.
- Breathing through your nose may help. Breathing through your mouth can cause it to become dry, so if you’re having trouble breathing through your nose because of congestion or allergies, talk to your doctor.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking cigarettes actually slows down saliva production. For a healthy mouth, avoid all kinds of tobacco products.
- Try some over-the-counter products for dry mouth. There are many different saliva substitutes on the market, from sprays to rinses to specially-formulated toothpastes. Just be aware that these may not be a good long-term solution.
- Take your vitamins. Vitamin supplements, particularly vitamin C and vitamin B complex, can help with inflammation and boost your immune system, which may help alleviate dry mouth. There are also a number of herbal remedies for dry mouth, including aloe vera, ginger, hollyhock root, and marshmallow root.
Whenever you have a question about your oral health, it’s good to have a dentist you can trust for answers. At Park 56 Dental Group, we offer pediatric, prosthodontics, endodontics, oral surgery, Invisalign®, emergency, and sedation dentistry, all at the highest level of treatment. We serve the Midtown, Central Park, Upper East Side, Park Avenue, and all surrounding Manhattan and New York areas, with a patient-centered practice that has hours to fit your schedule. Schedule your complimentary consultation today by contacting us online or calling us at (212) 826-2322.
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