Decrease in the production of saliva can lead to dry mouth, also known as xerostomia. It makes it difficult for you to speak and it can cause malnutrition. Worse, it may result to mouth and throat disorders.
You may have dry mouth if you experience any of these symptoms:
- Recurrent thirst
- A sticky, dry feeling in the mouth, and in the throat
- Bad breath
- Dry, red, and raw tongue
- Dry nasal passages
- Sores in the mouth
- Sore throat
- Cracked lips
- Difficulty tasting, swallowing, and chewing
- Difficulty speaking
Certain medications, medical treatments, and diseases cause dry mouth. Your lifestyle can also contribute to this condition. For instance, smoking can affect the amount of saliva you make and therefore worsen dry mouth. But learning how to get rid of dry mouth can be easier than you think. Check these simple home care tips:
- Stay hydrated by drinking 8 glasses of water a day. Refrain from or reduce your intake of coffee, alcohol and sodas because these can aggravate your condition. You have the option, however, to take sugarless drinks. Sip water before, during, and after a meal; hence, it is important that you have a bottle of water wherever you go. Keep it inside your bag.
- Are you using mouthwash? You may have to forget about your favorite brand. Check the label and if it lists alcohol as one of its ingredients, look for other products that are free from it. Yes, alcohol can be drying. You can also opt for mouthwash designed specifically for people who suffer from dry mouth. *see below for “How To Make Your Own Mouth Wash”
- Chew gum or eat hard candy, to increase saliva production, and freshen your breath. Make sure they are sugar free or you make yourself at risk of tooth decay. However, some contain xylitol that may cause you to experience cramps or diarrhea when taken in large amounts.
- You may want to try munching on parsley instead; it functions as a natural breath sweetener. Likewise, try snacking on water-rich vegetables like celery as it stimulates the saliva glands. If bad breath is already an issue, chewing on aniseed may help.
- Learn to breathe through your nose. Never sleep with an open mouth as it also causes dry mouth.
- Brush and floss your teeth every day. Do not forget to rinse your mouth during the day. Use fluoride toothpaste. Before going to bed, you may also consider using brush-on fluoride gel or rinse. Ask your dentist more about these. Make sure that you visit your dentist twice a year to avoid tooth decay and other dental issues.
If none of these tips seem to be effective, consult with your dentist or doctor immediately.
How to Make Your Own Mouthwash:
Mix dried rosemary (1 teaspoon), aniseed (1 teaspoon), and dried mint (1 teaspoon) into boiling water (2 ½ cups). Let sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain before refrigerating.