Are you looking for effective home remedies for dry mouth? Dry mouth or cotton mouth can be very uncomfortable and irritating especially when it gets sticky. There are many reasons why one can have a dry mouth. Home remedies for dry mouth aim at addressing the cause and relieving the symptoms. Below learn more on natural remedies for dry mouth and throat at night, during pregnancy and from diabetes.
Dry mouth medically known as xerostomia refers to any condition in which the mouth feels unusually dry. Decrease of production of saliva in the mouth is the most common cause of dry mouth. This can be due to side effects from certain medications or a due to a condition that directly affects the saliva producing glands.
Dry mouth is a common problem that can affect anyone with any lifestyle. It can range from minor nuisance to something that has a great impact on your general health as it can directly affect your throat, tongue, teeth, swallowing and general appetite. According to mayoclinic.org, “Saliva helps prevent tooth decay by neutralizing acids produced by bacteria, limiting bacterial growth and washing away food particles. Saliva also enhances your ability to taste and makes it easier to swallow. In addition, enzymes in saliva aid in digestion.”
Causes of dry mouth include: side effects of certain medications, nerve damage, surgical removal of salivary glands and lifestyle habits such as smoking and chewing of tobacco. Medical treatments such as chemotherapy and conditions such as HIV are known to cause excessive or extreme dry mouth.
Dry mouth can present it in different ways. The most common symptoms of dry mouth or cotton mouth include:
Frequent feeling of thirst
Dry feeling or soreness in the throat
Red sore tongue
Sores in the mouth
Sticky feeling in the mouth
Problems tasting, chewing, swallowing and even speaking
Hoarseness of the voice
Remember that it is possible for someone to have a feeling of dry mouth even when the flow of saliva is adequate. Symptoms of dry mouth vary from one person to another making course of treatment to be individualized.
Dry mouth symptoms can be treated at home with simple lifestyle changes and DIY home treatments. Home remedies for dry mouth help stimulate production of saliva or coat the mouth to keep it hydrated. They are easy to find, use and have no side effects when used as treatment for dry mouth. Here are top effective home remedies for dry mouth and throat
Cayenne pepper is one of the best home remedies for dry mouth. It is however, very hot and may not be a good option for people who are known to be sensitive to hot foods. It stimulates the production of saliva.
Pick some ground cayenne pepper with a wet finger and rub it on the inside of your mouth
Alternatively, you can use cayenne pepper in cooking, soups or salads
Cayenne pepper can also be found in capsule form but you should consult your doctor before using this as a home remedy for dry mouth especially if you are on anticoagulants– it may increase the risk of bleeding associated with some blood thinning medications.
Ginger for Excessive Dryness in the Mouth and Throat
Ginger is very good and effective at stimulating saliva production.
Ginger can be used in different forms to treat dry mouth: roots, capsules, oils and extracts.
Steep 2 tablespoons of ginger root in a cup of water and use it as a mouth rinse
Slowly chew small piece of fresh ginger several times a day
Alternatively, make ginger tea with honey and take a cup 3 times daily to stimulate the saliva glands
Ginger can be very hot and irritating to some people. It is best to use it tea form with honey if you are sensitive to hot foods.
Fennel seeds stimulate the flow of saliva to hydrate the mouth. They also revive the taste buds and have a refreshing flavor that helps to get rid of bad breath.
Eat a handful of fennel seeds several times a day to prevent dry mouth by stimulating saliva
Try mixing equal parts of fennel seeds with fenugreek
Roast them in a pan
Eat ½ a teaspoon after each meal to treat dry mouth
Cardamom is one of the best remedies for a dry mouth as used in Ayurveda medicine.
Chew on cardamom after each meal or whenever the mouth feels dry
Alternatively, add a teaspoon of cardamom powder in a glass of water and boil for 10 minutes
Drink this mixture every morning and evening
You can also use lukewarm cardamom tea as a mouth rinse to get rid of bad breath
Grape Seed Oil
Grape seed oil is relieving symptoms of dry mouth. It has moisturizing properties that help to soothe and coat the mouth and lips to keep it moist. It is also high in vitamin E making it good for faster healing of mouth sores.
Using fingers, rub a little grape seed oil on the inside of your mouth
Do this every night before going to bed
In the morning, rinse out the grape seed oil before brushing your teeth
Using grape seed oil to prevent dry mouth at night also prevents bacterial activity on teeth as it creates a protective coat on teeth.
Oil pulling keeps the mouth moist. Oil pulling can be done using any vegetable oil such as coconut or sesame oil. It is an ancient practice that has been used to treat dry mouth and promote good oral hygiene.
In the morning when you wake up, take a glass of water to start the flow of saliva
Using any oil of your choice put a tablespoon in your mouth
Swish and swirl around the mouth for 10 minutes until the oil turns thin and whitish
Spit and rinse your mouth with warm water before brushing your teeth
Do this once daily-preferably in the morning before eating anything
Be careful not to swallow the oil- it has lots of toxins.
Prickly Ash Relief
Prickly ash is a tree native to North America. The bark of this tree is used in giving relief from dry mouth symptoms and for long lasting fresh breath. It is also stimulates the salivary glands helping to moisten the mouth works well for those undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
Add 15 drops of prickly ash tincture to ¼ cup of water
Take this mixture several times daily to alleviate the symptoms of cotton mouth
If undergoing any conventional treatments, it is best to consult with your doctor before taking prickly ash for dry mouth relief.
Lemon stimulates production of saliva and helps to keep the mouth moist. It is also acidic in nature helping to cleanse the mouth and get rid of bad breath.
Squeeze half a lemon and extract the juice
Add this with a little honey to a glass of water
Take little sips of this drink several times throughout the day to keep your mouth hydrated
Lemonade can also be ,made and used in the same way to relieve dry mouth
Alternatively, sprinkle a little salt on a piece of lemon and rub it on your tongue to enhance taste buds
Natural Remedies for Dry Mouth
Getting rid of dry mouth and bad breath can be a little daunting. Treatments may vary depending on the symptoms that one has. If you are looking to use natural remedies for dry mouth, you may have to try several or even combine different remedies to come up with something that works for you. It is also important to remember that, these natural cures for dry mouth work differently for different people.
Taking Lots of Water
This should be a number one natural remedy for dry mouth. It may seem like an obvious natural treatment for dry mouth but most people do not even remember to take enough water for the day. The recommended per day intake is 8 glasses. You can increase this amount especially if you take caffeinated drinks which can also cause dry mouth. Taking water adequately helps to cure bad breath. You can also sip sugar free drinks regularly to keep your mucous membranes moist.
Naturally Stimulate the Flow of Saliva
To stimulate the production of saliva, chew on sugar free gum or suck on sugar free candies to prevent dry mouth. Alternatively, you can suck on an olive pit or lemon rind. Eat on snacks that have high water content like celery sticks to stimulate the flow of saliva and add moisture to your mouth.
Breathing through the Nose
For those who experience dry mouth while sleeping, you may be surprised to know that dry mouth may be caused by breathing through the mouth. The constant air flow through the mouth dries the mouth. If you have a stuffy nose from congestion, try steam inhalations or saline drops.
Using a Humidifier at Night to Prevent Waking up with Dry Mouth
If you are waking up with dry mouth try to run a cool mist humidifier in the bedroom while sleeping at night. This helps to keep air in the room moist and help to relieve dry mouth while sleeping. It also relieves nasal congestion.
Caffeinated drinks, carbonated drinks, alcohol and tobacco are recipes for dry mouth. Avoid carbonated drinks reduce alcohol intake and stop smoking and chewing on tobacco.
It is best to avoid spicy foods as they can cause irritation and pain especially if you have a sore mouth and tongue. Spicy and salty foods are known to cause excessive dry mouth. They irritate the mucous membranes and interfere with normal flow of saliva.
Eat soft moist foods that are cool or at room temperature. Alternatively, you can moisten foods with broths, soups, sauces, gravy, creams and margarines.
Avoid eating sticky and sugary foods. Without saliva which naturally cleanses the teeth, you are more likely to get dental caries. Practice good oral hygiene by:
Brushing your teeth at least twice a day, but even more preferably, after every meal and before bedtime
Flossing your teeth every day
Using a toothpaste that contains fluoride
Avoid mouth rinses that contain alcohol or peroxide. These can further dry your mouth
Visiting your dentist for a check-up and cleaning at least twice a year. At your visit, your dentist may recommend daily use of a fluoride rinse or fluoride gel to keep your teeth healthy.
Herbal Remedies for Dry Mouth
Herbal remedies for dry mouth can be as effective as other home remedies without negative effects. They have been used since ancient medicine to treat many conditions including dry mouth. Although herbs have been used for traditional medicine, scientists are coming up to substantiate the use of the roots, leaves and barks to make reliable alternative treatments. Have a look at some of the most commonly used herbal treatments for dry mouth.
Marshmallow for Dry Mouth Relief from Diabetes and During Pregnancy
Marshmallow is a plant with polysaccharides that have antitussive, mucilaginous and antibacterial properties. It produces a thick sticky substance that coats membranes. Marshmallow has a soothing effect on the inflamed membranes of the mouth. The roots and leaves of this plant are the ones commonly used for treatment of dry mouth. Tea made from powdered roots or dried leaves is the most effective for dry mouth home treatment.
Boil dried leaves of marshmallow in 4 cups of water for 30 minutes
Allow to cool at room temperature
Sieve off the leaves
Take this two to three times daily
Alternatively you can make marshmallow as follows;
In a jar with a tight lid, place marshmallow root
Fill the jar with lukewarm water and let it sit overnight
Color should change to soft yellow and the fluid thick and viscous
Strain off the roots and drink twice daily.
Although this home remedy for dry mouth is effective, there are some studies which suggest that marshmallow can slow the absorption of other drugs and also lower blood sugar.
Marshmallow is not recommended for pregnant or lactating women. It should therefore not be considered when treating dry mouth in pregnancy or diabetes.
Slippery elm is one of the home remedies for dry mouth that can be used to make tea. When mixed with water it makes a thick gel that coats and soothes the dry mouth. It also relieves soreness in the throat and has antioxidants which help to relieve inflammation.
With water and slippery elm bark powder, make a paste and apply it to the inside of the mouth to treat dry mouth syndrome.
You can also make a cup of tea by boiling slippery elm in water and take it times daily
Alternatively, mix 1 teaspoon of slippery elm with a glass of cold water and drink daily to treat symptoms caused by dry mouth.
Aloe Vera keeps your lips and tongue moisturized. It protects and treats the sensitive tissues of the mouth. Aloe Vera also helps to enhance taste buds. Aloe vera is also antibacterial and antifungal- it helps to kill bacteria and fight tooth decay.
Apply pure aloe Vera gel on the inside of the mouth
Leave for a 5 minutes then rinse with cold water
Do this 3 times daily to relieve dry mouth and lips
Alternatively, you can drink a ¼ cup of aloe vera juice 2 times daily or use it as a mouthwash
Treatment of dry mouth depends on the cause. There are three key areas when treating dry mouth: managing the underlying condition, preventing tooth decay and increasing the flow of saliva. If dry mouth is caused by medication, you should talk to your doctor for either a change of medication or revise of the doses. Chronic dry mouth may be caused by systemic illnesses that require medical attention.
Home remedies for dry mouth seek to coat and protect the mucous membranes in the mouth and hydrate the mouth for as long as possible. Remember that these remedies work differently and may not give the same results in different people. You may have to try different home treatment to come up with a remedy that works for you.