23 Aug Thirsty for Solutions: Natural Remedies for Dry Mouth
As a nutritionist, I often work with clients who experience dry mouth. It’s a common issue, and it can be very uncomfortable. But the good news is that there are plenty of natural solutions that can help. In this article, I’ll explain what dry mouth is, why it happens, how it affects your body and some natural ways to combat it.
What dry mouth is:
Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, is a condition in which your mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva. Saliva is important for many reasons. It helps to keep your mouth moist, neutralizes acids in your mouth, and it plays a role in the digestion of food. When your mouth is dry, it can lead to a range of symptoms, from a dry or sticky feeling in your mouth to a dry or sore throat.
The potential causes of dry mouth:
The first is dehydration. When you’re not drinking enough fluids, your body won’t produce enough saliva. This can lead to dry mouth. Another potential cause is certain medications. Some medications can reduce saliva production as a side effect. Other possible causes include mouth breathing, stress, and certain medical conditions.
The effects of dry mouth:
First, it can lead to bad breath, also known as halitosis. This is because saliva helps to cleanse the mouth of bacteria and food particles. Without enough saliva, bad breath can occur. Dry mouth can also lead to an increased risk of cavities and gum disease. Saliva helps to protect the teeth and gums by neutralizing acids and washing away plaque. And, dry mouth can cause difficulty swallowing and talking.
Dry mouth can also cause dry or cracked lips, an increased risk of oral thrush (a fungal infection in the mouth), and dry or sore throat. It can even affect a person’s sense of taste, making food less enjoyable. Additionally, dry mouth can cause problems with dentures, as they may not fit properly or may become loose. Lastly, dry mouth can lead to problems with sleep quality, as it can cause a person to wake up during the night due to a dry or sore mouth.
Natural remedies for dry mouth:
- Drinking plenty of water. This can help to keep the mouth moist and increase saliva production.
- Chewing sugar-free gum. This stimulates the production of saliva and helps to wash away bacteria and food particles.
- Using a humidifier. This can add moisture to the air and help to prevent dry mouth.
- Avoiding caffeine and alcohol. Both of these substances can dry out the mouth and reduce saliva production.
- Using a tongue scraper. This helps to remove bacteria and food particles from the tongue, which can help to prevent bad breath and promote saliva production.
- Eating certain foods can help. Foods like apples, celery, and carrots can help to stimulate saliva production.
- Avoiding mouth breathing is important. Breathing through the nose instead of the mouth can help to keep the mouth moist. To avoid mouth breathing while sleeping, try this simple technique:
- Purchase a roll of medical tape, which you can find at most pharmacies or online.
- Before bed, take a small piece of tape and place it horizontally across your lips. The tape should be tight enough to keep your lips closed, but not so tight that it’s uncomfortable.
- If the tape feels too uncomfortable, try using a smaller piece or a different type of tape.
- Once you get used to mouth taping, you may find that it helps you to sleep more deeply and wake up feeling more refreshed. You may also notice a reduction in snoring or mouth breathing-related symptoms such as dry mouth or a sore throat
I hope this information helps you understand the causes and solutions for dry mouth, and gives you some ideas to deal with it using simple home remedies.
Wishing you good health, and a smile that’s both happy and hydrated!