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20 Effective Ways To Get Rid Of Dry Mouth

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20 Effective Ways To Get Rid Of Dry Mouth November 3, 2017

Dry mouth, also referred to as xerostomia, is a condition that occurs when your mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva to keep it wet (1). This results in a feeling of chronic dryness in your mouth. Dry mouth is very common in aging individuals and can also be found in those taking medication. However, there could also be various other underlying reasons behind the development of this condition. This article covers the causes, symptoms, and also some of the best remedies that can relieve dry mouth.

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What Causes Dry Mouth?

This condition is a result of salivary gland dysfunction. There are many factors that can interfere with the functioning of these glands, and some of them are as follows (2).

  • Medication: Being on medication increases the probability of developing a dry mouth. Many over-the-counter drugs, such as those used to treat depression and high blood pressure, have been known to cause dry mouth as a side effect.
  • Aging: The body’s natural ability to function normally is altered with age. This, along with the consumption of various medications, leads to dry mouth in older people.
  • Nerve Damage: There is an increased probability of nerve damage if you have been injured near your head or neck. This also applies if you have undergone any surgery near your head. Nerve damage can thus result in loss of functioning of your salivary glands, resulting in a dry mouth.
  • Smoking: Though smoking doesn’t trigger it, it can aggravate the existing condition.
  • Stress: Anxiety is often followed by stress, and this is one of the reasons for developing a dry mouth. Situations that result in tension and irritation also result in a dry mouth.
  • Other Health Conditions: Dry mouth can also occur as a result of other health conditions such as fever or diabetes. It is a side effect of many diseases such as HIV/AIDS and Alzheimer’s disease. Dry mouth is also one of the most common symptoms of thyroid disease.
  • Pregnancy: Your body goes through many hormonal changes during pregnancy. In some cases, pregnant women have gestational diabetes as well. These factors often lead to a dry and raw mouth.
  • Mouth Breathing: Breathing via the mouth, especially while sleeping, is another cause of dry mouth. This happens mainly at night, and the individual often wakes up to a sore throat and chapped lips in the morning.

Now that we are well of the causes that trigger a dry mouth, let us look at the symptoms that a dry mouth brings along.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Dry Mouth?

A dry mouth is often accompanied by a few symptoms. These include:

  • A dry and raw feeling in the mouth
  • Sore throat: A dry throat and a hoarse voice
  • Thirst: Dry mouth and thirst go hand in hand. Dehydration is one of the main causes of dry mouth
  • Dysphagia: Difficulty in speaking or swallowing (3)
  • Decreased ability to taste
  • Dry and chapped lips
  • White tongue: Dry mouth leads to bacterial growth and fungal infection in the mouth. This results in a white tongue
  • Pale gums
  • Headaches: Dry mouth can be indicative of dehydration. Headaches are known to be triggered due to dehydration
  • Bad breath: Dry mouth facilitates bacterial growth and this, in turn, causes bad breath
  • Dry cough and dry nasal passage
  • The corners of your mouth become dry
  • Sores and ulcers
  • Bleeding of gums and decaying teeth

These symptoms are often mild to moderate and following some easy home remedies can help to eradicate them.

How To Treat Dry Mouth Naturally

  1. Ginger
  2. Green Tea
  3. Aloe Vera
  4. Pineapple
  5. Lemon Juice
  6. Orange Juice
  7. Fennel
  8. Aniseeds
  9. Rosemary
  10. Celery
  11. Parsley
  12. Oil Pulling
  13. Fish Oil
  14. Essential Oils
  15. Apple Cider Vinegar
  16. Vaseline
  17. Yogurt
  18. Iron
  19. Cayenne Pepper
  20. Slippery Elm

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20 Best Home Remedies For Dry Mouth Relief

As we know by now, a dry mouth can be very disturbing in the long run. However, following some easy home remedies may help to treat and prevent the recurrence of dry mouth and its symptoms (4).

1. Ginger

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You Will Need
  • 1 inch of ginger
  • 1 cup of water
  • Honey
What You Have To Do
  1. Take a small piece of fresh ginger and cut it into small pieces.
  2. Add this to a cup of water and bring it to a boil.
  3. Strain the ginger tea and add some honey to taste. Consume immediately.
  4. Alternatively, you can also chew on a piece of ginger throughout the day.
How Often You Should Do This

Drink ginger tea 2 to 3 times a day for best results.

Why This Works

Ginger has many medicinal benefits associated with it (5). This is due to the presence of a bioactive compound called gingerol. Other than this, ginger is also known to stimulate saliva. This can help in keeping your mouth fresh for a long period.

[ Read: 39 Surprising Benefits Of Ginger ]

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2. Green Tea

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You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of green tea leaves
  • 1 cup of water
  • Honey (optional)
What You Have To Do
  1. Take some green tea leaves and boil in a cup of water.
  2. Strain the tea and add honey to taste. Consume immediately.
How Often You Should Do This

Drink green tea 2 to 3 times a day for optimum benefits,

Why This Works

Green tea, like ginger tea, is also one of the best herbs to treat dry mouth. It is well known for its antibacterial properties and can prevent the formation of cavities in your mouth. In addition, green tea is also known to stimulate the flow of saliva (6).

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3. Aloe Vera Juice

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You Will Need
  • ¼ cup of aloe vera juice/aloe vera gel
  • Cotton pads
What You Have To Do
  1. Consume aloe vera juice or rinse your mouth with it.
  2. Alternatively, take some aloe vera gel on a cotton pad and apply it evenly inside your mouth.
  3. Leave this on for a few minutes and rinse your mouth thoroughly with water.
How Often You Should Do This

You can consume aloe vera juice once daily. In case you are applying the gel, you must do it 2 to 3 times a day.

Why This Works

Aloe vera has infinite benefits when it comes to beauty and health (7). It can trigger the functioning of the salivary glands and increase the production of saliva in your mouth (8).

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4. Pineapple

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You Will Need

Fresh or canned pineapple

What You Have To Do
  1. Cut a fresh pineapple and chew on it to keep your mouth clean.
  2. Alternatively, you can also use unsweetened and canned pineapples for the same.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this a couple of times daily. However, avoid frequent chewing of pineapples as they might erode your teeth due to their acidic nature.

Why This Works

Pineapple is rich in bromelain that helps in the degradation of debris in your mouth (9), (10). It also helps in thinning the saliva and increasing its flow in your mouth.

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5. Lemon Juice

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You Will Need
  • ½ lemon
  • 1 glass of water
  • Honey (optional)
What You Have To Do
  1. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon in a glass of water.
  2. Add some honey to taste. Store this juice and consume throughout the day for added benefits.
How Often You Should Do This

Excess consumption of lemon or any other acidic fruits can lead to erosion of your enamel and teeth. Thus, restrict its use to once daily.

Why This Works

Lemons are also highly beneficial to enhance your health and beauty. The citric acid content in lemons can help keep your mouth clean and fresh while also stimulating the production of saliva to combat dry mouth (11).

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6. Orange Juice

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You Will Need
  • Oranges
  • 1 glass of water
What You Have To Do
  1. Peel an orange and blend it with a glass of water.
  2. Store this in a bottle and consume throughout the day to keep your mouth moist.

Avoid drinking concentrated juices as this may aggravate your condition.

How Often You Should Do This

Drink this juice once daily.

Why This Works

Like their counterparts (lemons), oranges are also rich in citric acid and have many benefits (12). This helps to keep your mouth fresh and bad breath at bay. The citric acid also helps in stimulating the salivary glands and can thus help in treating dry mouth.

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7. Fennel

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You Will Need

1 teaspoon of fennel seeds

What You Have To Do

Take some fennel seeds and chew on them after every meal.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this daily.

Why This Works

Fennel seeds are rich in a group of plant metabolites called flavonoids. Flavonoids help in stimulating the production of saliva and keeping your mouth clean. The aromatic nature of fennel seeds helps in keeping bad breath at bay while keeping your mouth fresh for a long period (13).

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7. Aniseeds

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You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of aniseeds
  • 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds (optional)
What You Have To Do
  1. Take some aniseeds and munch on them after every meal.
  2. Alternatively, you can also mix aniseeds with fennel seeds for added flavor.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this after every meal.

Why This Works

Aniseed, scientifically referred to as Pimpinella anisum, is another herb with many medicinal properties (14). It is often used as an appetite stimulant. It is licorice-flavored and helps fight bad breath and dry mouth.

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8. Rosemary

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You Will Need
  • 10-12 rosemary leaves
  • 1 glass of water
What You Have To Do
  1. Take about 10-12 leaves of rosemary in a glass of water and allow them to soak overnight.
  2. Use this water to rinse your mouth in the morning.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this every morning.

Why This Works

Rosemary has a wonderful aroma like fennel seeds. It is known for its antiseptic and soothing properties, which can be beneficial in treating dry mouth and its symptoms (15).

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9. Celery

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You Will Need

2-3 celery sticks

What You Have To Do

Cut some celery sticks and chew on them throughout the day.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this daily for optimum results.

Why This Works

Celery is a vegetable that has numerous health benefits. It is rich in vitamin C and also contains many beneficial enzymes and flavonoids (16), (17). The water retaining capacity of celery is especially helpful in keeping your mouth moist as well as increasing the production of saliva.

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11. Parsley

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You Will Need

A handful of parsley leaves

What You Have To Do

Take some parsley leaves and chew on them.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this on a daily basis after every meal.

Why This Works

Parsley is another edible herb that is known to be rich in vitamins A and C, calcium, and iron. It is a natural mouth freshener and can keep bad breath at bay while also treating dry mouth and the associated symptoms (18). It also has antibacterial properties, which can be used to keep your mouth clean (19).

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12. Oil Pulling

Oil pulling has been in use since ages to maintain oral hygiene (20), (21).

1. Olive Oil

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You Will Need

1 teaspoon of olive oil (extra virgin)

What You Have To Do
  1. Swish olive oil in your mouth for 10 to 15 minutes
  2. Spit it out and brush your teeth as usual.
How Often You Should Do This

Follow this regimen once every morning.

Why This Works

Olive oil has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. This is mainly due to the presence of a compound called oleocanthal. The cleansing effect of olive oil can keep your mouth moist and also treat the symptoms of dry mouth (22).

2. Coconut Oil

You Will Need

1 teaspoon of coconut oil (extra virgin)

What You Have To Do
  1. Swish coconut oil in your mouth for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Spit the oil out and brush your teeth as usual.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this once every morning.

Why This Works

Like olive oil, coconut oil also helps in keeping your mouth moist. It acts as a natural moisturizer and can thus help to combat dry mouth and its symptoms (23).

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13. Fish Oil

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You Will Need

An omega-3 rich diet or fish oil supplements

What You Have To Do
  1. Include omega-3 rich foods like salmon and tuna in your diet.
  2. Alternatively, consume about 500 mg of fish oil supplements.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this twice daily for best results.

Why This Works

Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that are known to decrease inflammation. Studies have proven that the intake of fish oil increases the production of saliva. Thus, fish oil can also be used to treat dry mouth and its symptoms (24).

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14. Essential Oils

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Essential oils are well known for their natural medicinal properties and healing effects (25). Some of the essential oils are also known to help with dry mouth and its symptoms. They are listed below:

1. Peppermint Essential Oil

You Will Need

2 drops of peppermint essential oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Pour two drops of peppermint essential oil on your tongue.
  2. Spread the oil to your entire mouth with your tongue.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this for a week, before every meal.

Why This Works

Peppermint oil, scientifically referred to as Mentha piperita, can be used to stimulate the salivary glands to produce more saliva. It also exhibits protective effects (26). The presence of a compound called 1, 8 cineole in peppermint oil helps in the acceleration of mucus secretion in the mouth.

2. Spearmint Essential Oil

You Will Need

1 to 2 drops of spearmint essential oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Take about one to two drops of spearmint oil on your toothbrush.
  2. Gently brush your entire mouth with it.
How Often You Should Do This

Use this as a mouthwash after every meal.

Why This Works

Spearmint oil is one of the main ingredients used in many toothpastes and mouthwashes. It comes from the same family as peppermint. Spearmint can help treat bad breath and dry mouth with its antibacterial and cleansing properties (27).

3. Clove Essential Oil

You Will Need

2 drops of clove essential oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Pour two drops of clove oil on your tongue.
  2. With the help of your tongue, spread the clove essential oil to the rest of your mouth.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this daily after every meal.

Why This Works

Clove oil contains beneficial oils such as eugenol. Eugenol is an aromatic compound and is also known for its anesthetic and antiseptic properties. These properties of clove oil help in treating dry mouth and its symptoms (28).

4. Eucalyptus Essential Oil

You Will Need

2 drops of eucalyptus essential oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Take two drops of eucalyptus essential oil on your finger or toothbrush.
  2. Rub this gently over your entire mouth.
How Often You Should Do This

Follow this regimen daily, after every meal.

Why This Works

Similar to peppermint oil, eucalyptus essential oil also has menthol in its constitution. The aromatic nature of eucalyptus essential oil, along with its antibacterial properties, helps in treating bad breath and dry mouth (29).

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15. Apple Cider Vinegar

You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 glass of water
What You Have To Do

Add ACV to a glass of water and mix well. Sip on it throughout the day.

How Often You Should Do This

Follow this remedy daily.

Why This Works

Acetic acid is one of the main components of apple cider vinegar (ACV). ACV is well known for its antibacterial and antioxidant properties (30). It is often used to treat diabetes and is an effective remedy for treating dry mouth.

16. Vaseline

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You Will Need

Vaseline

What You Have To Do

Apply a thin layer of Vaseline on the gums.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this daily before you go to bed.

Why This Works

Vaseline is mainly made up of petroleum jelly (petrolatum). It is used for faster healing of wounds and sealing in moisture (31). Vaseline can thus help in treating dry mouth, especially at night.

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17. Yogurt

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You Will Need

A bowl of yogurt

What You Have To Do

Have yogurt daily to create a thin layer over the mucosa in your mouth.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this 2-3 times daily.

Why This Works

Yogurt is rich in several nutrients and minerals. It also has moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties similar to Vaseline, which can help in treating dry mouth and its symptoms (32).

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18. Iron

You Will Need

Iron capsules

What You Have To Do
  1. Individuals above 50 years should consume about 8 mg of iron supplement per day.
  2. Those within 18 to 50 years can consume capsules containing 18 mg iron per day.
How Often You Should Do This

Consume this supplement daily.

Why This Works

Your body needs adequate iron to function and maintain your overall health. Dry mouth is one of the most common and recurrent symptoms of iron deficiency and can be treated by increasing your iron intake (33).

[ Read: 41 Amazing Iron Rich Foods ]

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19. Cayenne Pepper

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You Will Need

A pinch of ground cayenne pepper

What You Have To Do

Take ground cayenne pepper on your wet finger and rub it all over your tongue.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this 2 to 3 times a day.

Why This Works

Cayenne pepper, scientifically called Capsicum annuum ‘Cayenne’, is quite popular for its digestive and detoxifying properties (34). It is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties, which can be useful in treating the symptoms of dry mouth.

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20. Slippery Elm

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You Will Need
  • ½ teaspoon of slippery elm bark powder
  • Water
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix slippery elm bark powder with a few drops of water and gently rub the paste inside your mouth. Then, rinse your mouth.
  2. Alternatively, you can also consume slippery bark tea.
How Often You Should Do This

You can apply the paste every morning or consume this tea 2 to 3 times daily.

Why This Works

Slippery elm is a small tree with healing properties. The bark of this tree is often used for its medicinal properties. It contains mucilage that coats the stomach and soothes the stomach, throat, mouth, and intestines. Hence, it can help with digestion and inflammation (34). It can also treat dry mouth and its symptoms with its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

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You can easily try these home remedies for dry mouth relief as most of the ingredients required are available in your kitchen. Once you see a positive change in your condition, you can also follow the preventive tips mentioned below to avoid the recurrence of dry mouth.

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Preventive Tips

  • Limit your intake of caffeine.
  • Chew on sugar-free gums or suck on sugar-free candies.
  • Avoid use of mouthwashes that contain alcohol.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Keep yourself well hydrated.
  • Try using moisturizing sprays and gels that are available over-the-counter. These can act as saliva substitutes.
  • Use mouthwashes especially formulated to combat dry mouth.
  • Avoid use of medications that can be a potential cause of dry mouth.
  • Avoid breathing through your mouth. Instead, practice breathing through your nose, especially at night.
  • Use a room humidifier at night. This keeps the air around you moisturized.
  • Avoid sugary and fizzy drinks.
  • Start using fluoride toothpastes.
  • Have a protein-rich diet . Also, include more of soups and broth in your diet.
  • Avoid consuming dry foods like bread, pastries, and crackers.

Dry mouth could be of major concern if the condition prevails. If you are among those affected by this condition, it could also interfere with your social life because of the adverse effects of its symptoms. Thus, it is always better to treat dry mouth at its earliest to prevent its recurrence. Since dry mouth itself is also a symptom of certain medications, following natural remedies to treat this condition is better than opting for chemical treatments. However, if dry mouth is accompanied by any other medical concern, please visit your general physician for a check-up.

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Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

How can I get rid of dry mouth at night?

To prevent dry mouth in the night, use a room humidifier to moisturize the air. You can also apply a thin layer of Vaseline inside your mouth to seal in the moisture and avoid drying of your mouth.

What causes dry mouth while running?

One of the main causes of experiencing dry mouth while running is dehydration. Hot weather increases the chance of dehydration.

How can I prevent dry mouth when I wake up?

Once you wake up, brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste. Use any of the natural remedies mentioned above as your mouthwash. In addition, you can also use mouth sprays or gels that are meant to keep your mouth moisturized.

What kind of doctor should I see for dry mouth?

You can visit your dentist if you are facing dry mouth issues. However, if dry mouth is a symptom of an underlying medical condition, it is recommended to visit your general physician.

Can dry mouth have any serious side effects if left untreated?

A dry mouth can lead to severe tooth defects and inflamed gums if left untreated. It may also result in bad breath as a result of bacterial growth in your mouth.

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