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What Are the Best Dry Mouth Remedies?

A change in a person's oral hygiene routine may help alleviate dry mouth.
Chewing gum will cause the mouth to produce more saliva, which may help relieve dry mouth.
Dry mouth is a side effect of certain medications.
Drinking water frequently can help with dry mouth.
Article Details
  • Written By: Allison Boelcke
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2014
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Dry mouth, more technically referred to as xerostomia, is a condition in which a person’s mouth does not make enough saliva to comfortably lubricate it. It can be caused by a wide variety of factors, ranging from medication side effects to overly drying oral hygiene products. The condition can cause discomfort, difficulty swallowing food, and tooth decay due to built-up bacteria that is generally washed away with saliva. There are several possible dry mouth remedies that may be able to restore moisture in the mouth and prevent complications.

One of the possible dry mouth remedies that can be performed with little medical assistance includes dietary changes. Adding moist sauces to foods, such as melted butter, broth, or gravy, can make them easier to swallow and temporarily coat the mouth with moisture. Drinking water or chewing gum frequently can both moisten the mouth and help remove built-up food and bacteria that may otherwise get stuck to teeth. Foods that are acidic, such as citrus, as well as salty or spicy foods can all make the mouth even drier, so avoiding them may keep the condition from worsening.

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Taking certain medications can result in dry mouth as a side effect. Finding alternatives to these medications or having a doctor reduce the dosage amount may limit the dry mouth effects. Common medications that can cause the side effect include antihistamines, antidepressants, muscle relaxants, and blood thinners. A patient who must take these medications may be able to switch brands to find one that does not have dry mouth as a side effect.

Other dry mouth remedies tend to involve a change in a person’s oral hygiene routine. Avoiding oral hygiene products, such as mouthwashes, that contain alcohol can ease dry mouth since alcohol can dry out the little moisture the mouth may already have. Thoroughly rinsing the mouth with water before brushing and flossing can moisten the mouth to make spitting more comfortable. People who suffer from the condition may need to use a prescription strength toothpaste to further protect the teeth from decay.

If dry mouth remedies do not work or the condition continues to worsen, the dry mouth could be a sign of a serious underlying condition. Neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease or muscular dystrophy, can affect the nerves that control the saliva glands, which could then lead to serious dry mouth. Poorly performing saliva glands could also occur after radiation or chemotherapy treatments for cancer because the treatments may destroy the saliva glands while they destroy cancer cells. In these cases, a doctor can recommend medications to physically stimulate the saliva glands and decrease the severity of the dry mouth.

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Discuss this Article

Heavanet
Post 2

I have found that mouth spray for bad breath helps to make your mouth produce more saliva and relieve a dry mouth. This remedy for dry mouth is effective, cheap, and easy to put in your pocket or purse and use it every time you feel your mouth getting too dry.

Raynbow
Post 1

Sucking on hard candy also helps ease a dry mouth. However, if you choose this remedy, it is important to rinse your mouth with water and brush your teeth frequently to prevent tooth decay.

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