5 Natural Remedies for Treating Dry Mouth

If you’re reading this, you probably suffer from dry mouth, or you know someone who does.  You’re here because you’re looking for a solution.

You’re tired of struggling to talk.  You’re tired of trying to hide your bad breath.  You’re tired of feeling like your mouth’s packed with cardboard.

Dry mouth isn’t just uncomfortable, either.  If it’s chronic and severe, it can also compromise your oral health and lead to preventable diseases.

What you might not know is that dry mouth isn’t an unusual condition.  Roughly 20% of Australian adults are suffering with you, a statistic which increases to 25% for adults over 50 years.

Some of them have already taken steps to manage their condition – they’ve tried dozens of chemical-loaded mouth sprays and gums.  Others are only just learning that dry mouth isn’t something they have to live with forever.

Whatever boat you’re in, you’re probably looking for something better than chemical cocktails that coat your mouth with carcinogenic compounds.  You’re here because you want to treat dry mouth the right way.  The natural way.

In this article, we’re going to give you five treatments for dry mouth that don’t involve toxic chemicals.  Let’s get into it.

What Causes Dry Mouth?

Dry mouth (also known as xerostomia) is caused by your salivary glands not producing enough saliva to keep your mouth wet.  If you have dry mouth, your tongue might feel rough or unusually thick, your saliva might be stringy and sticky, and your lips might be dry, cracked or bleeding.

Because saliva fights tooth decay, prevents the formation of bad oral bacteria and helps with swallowing, having dry mouth is problematic for all sorts of reasons.

Some of the main causes of dry mouth include:

  • Dehydration
  • Smoking cigarettes or recreational drugs
  • Radiation therapy and chemotherapy for cancer
  • Nerve damage to the head or neck
  • Environmental conditions, like very dry or dusty air
  • Certain types of medication
  • Pregnancy
  • Other health conditions like dysphagia, diabetes or HIV/AIDS

Luckily, dry mouth can often be prevented or minimised by simple lifestyle changes, although sufferers should always consult with a trained physician to ensure it isn’t symptomatic of a larger condition.

Rather than taking prescription drugs or chemical-laden substances, you can lessen the effects of dry mouth by using natural remedies.  We’ve put together a list of the top five natural remedies for treating dry mouth – if you’re tired of suffering unnecessarily, read on.

1.     Drink more water

woman drinking water
Dehydration is one of the leading causes of dry mouth, and one of the easiest to fix.  Because your salivary glands rely on your body retaining enough water to produce easy-flowing saliva, not drinking enough can quickly lead to a more sticky, uncomfortable mouth.

So how much water should you be drinking each day?  The answer: it depends.  Health authorities commonly recommend 8 to 10 glasses a day (2 to 2.5 litres).

However, if you’re suffering from dry mouth, you might need to drink more, especially if you’ve been exercising or working in a dry environment.  Sip slowly to avoid washing away the saliva your body does manage to produce.  Alternatively (if you’re going to the bathroom too often), you can suck on ice cubes, which help keep your mouth moist and cool.

2.     Cut back on alcohol, caffeine, sugar and smoking

whiskey, coffee and cigarettes

Alcohol, caffeine, sugar and smoking are substances many of us love.  Caffeine starts off our day, smoko gets us through it, and a glass of something at dinner helps us relax enough to sleep.

Of course, alcohol, tobacco and refined sugar are all notorious for their negative effects on health, and too much coffee isn’t good for you either.  Sugar, in particular, is terrible for your teeth.  But how do these four substances affect dry mouth?

Let’s start with alcohol.  It’s a diuretic, which means, your body uses up more water to process and expel it.  As you now know, this can lead to dehydration.

Sugar, in smaller doses, won’t impact dry mouth.  But if it reaches high levels in your blood, it can cause your kidneys to produce more urine to remove it.  This only occurs if you’re eating an excessive amount of sugar or if you have diabetes.

Sugar also has negative effects on oral health, which can exacerbate the effects of dry mouth.  Certain types of bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar; as they do so, they produce acid which eats away at your teeth [4].  If you continually feed these bacteria by eating lots of sugar, you’ll eventually end up with cavities, plaque and tooth decay [4].

Smoking and caffeine don’t aggravate dry mouth by using up more of your body’s water.  Instead, they actually reduce saliva production, making excessive coffee consumption and smoking some of the worst things a sufferer of dry mouth can do!

Cigarettes also stain your teeth, cause bad breath, affect your taste of smell, and can cause a variety of cancers, so it’s definitely in your best interests to quit as soon as you can.

To avoid worsening dry mouth, consider cutting back on:

  • Too much coffee
  • Sugary drinks and treats
  • Energy drinks
  • Alcohol
  • Cigarettes
  • Abrasive mouthwashes with a high alcohol content (go natural instead!)
  • Spicy, dry or sugary foods

3.     Improve oral care

woman brushing teeth

Bad breath, rotting teeth, dry lips and mouth sores are some of the most unpleasant health conditions around.  They’re accompanied by self-consciousness and social anxiety, and can have long-term impacts on oral health.

Something else these four have in common? They’re all symptoms of dry mouth.  Saliva plays a critical role in preventing bad bacteria and washing away food scraps, so, without it, our mouths are vulnerable to a variety of unpleasant conditions.

If you’ve been diagnosed with dry mouth, there are a few easy ways you can minimise the effects [1].  Most of these are recommended dental practices anyway, so don’t feel like you need a doctor’s note to start keeping your mouth in great shape.

  • Brush your teeth twice a day, using toothpaste that contains fluoride.
  • Floss after every brush. This is particularly important for dry mouth sufferers, as saliva isn’t naturally washing away food remnants.
  • Have a dental appointment every sixth months. This helps catch infections and other oral conditions before they become too serious.
  • Use a prescription fluoride gel after each brush to prevent tooth decay.
  • Immediately visit a general practitioner or a dentist if you get an oral infection. Don’t wait for it to go away on its own, because it probably won’t.
  • Use natural lip balms. This helps combat swollen, dry or bleeding lips [2].

4.     Use a humidifier

humidifier in bedroom

Remember how we mentioned that environmental factors can have an impact on dry mouth?  Dry or dusty air means we need more saliva to keep our mouths moist, which is bad news if you’re suffering from dry mouth.

You might not be able to do much about it if you’re in a classroom or on a work site, but installing a humidifier in your home means time with your family can be spent more comfortably.  A humidifier is important even during summer, because air con actually dries out air as part of the cooling process, which feels comfortable to most people but can aggravate dry mouth [3].

A humidifier is also great for your bedroom.  Many people have a tendency to ‘mouth breath’ when they’re asleep, which dries out your mouth faster than breathing through your nose.  A humidifier counteracts these effects, so you can wake up in the morning without your tongue feeling like sandpaper.

5.     Use Osmist Dry Mouth Spray

There are some causes of dry mouth that you can’t just ‘fix’.  Prescription medication, radiation therapy, nerve damage … you can’t get rid of them, and you can’t prevent the effects by drinking more water or avoiding Friday night drinks.

That doesn’t mean you need to put up with dry mouth.  You should be able to catch up with friends and not feel embarrassed.  You should be able to enjoy a great meal without struggling to swallow.  You should be able to network effortlessly, to do your best work, to live the life you were supposed to.

And there is a solution – Osmist Dry Mouth Spray.  With a combination of natural saliva stimulants like papaya enzymes and grapeseed oil, this fast, easy-to-use mouth spray can be bought without a prescription.  Just pop off the protective cap, spray it into your mouth, and feel the saliva start instantly flowing.

It’s free from harmful chemicals and sugar (unlike a lot of other saliva-inducing gums and sprays), and gives you up to three hours of instant relief.  It’s also conveniently packaged in a small 50ml bottle – carry it around during the day, and, if you start to feel your saliva drying up, one quick spray will get you back on track.

Most importantly, you know it’s been designed for you, real people living with dry mouth, because the co-creator of Osmist isn’t just a speech pathologist specialising in treating severe dry mouth.  She’s also a sufferer.

Martha Rowe had a childhood accident which left her with hairline facial fractures.  As an adult, she had multiple surgeries to repair the damage – but an unintentional consequence of the operations was severe dry mouth.

Dissatisfied with the current range of dry mouth therapies, she collaborated with Flavour Creations to create a spray that she liked.  Something convenient, carcinogen-free and affordable for the average person.  Australian-made and produced from natural ingredients (including peppermint oil, for fresher breath), Osmist is the complete dry mouth solution, and it works for anyone – young or old.

Whether you’re a sufferer of dry mouth yourself, or you know a someone who lives with it, it’s time to stop compromising.  Start using Osmist.  Say goodbye to dry mouth, and say hello to living.

To learn more about dry mouth and how to manage it, click here.

To find out whether your might have dry mouth, use our free self-assessment tool.

If you have an unusually dry mouth (known as xerostomia), you should see your dentist or GP so they can provide you with a diagnosis and determine the cause.

References

[1] Department of Scientific Information (2019, July 8) Xerostomia (Dry Mouth).  Retrieved from: https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/xerostomia

[2] Rowe, M. Lawn, C. Wilson, B. (2019) Effects of Papaya Enzymes in Patients with Dry Mouth. International Journal of Dentistry and Oral Health. 5(3), 16-19. dx.doi.

org/10.16966/2378-7090.296

[3] Forrest Anderson (2017, September 10) Does the air conditioner dry out the air in my home? Retrieved from: https://www.forrestanderson.net/post/does-the-air-conditioner-dry-out-the-air-in-my-home

[4] Tan, V. (2017, April 6) How Sugar Causes Cavities and Destroys Your Teeth.  Retrieved from: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-sugar-destroys-teeth