Xerostomia, which is commonly called dry mouth in United States, is a state when your saliva production decreased, resulting in, well, dry mouth. In severe cases, xerostomia may cause mouth and throat disorders, but most of the dry mouth cases are not serious. About one in ten people may experience xerostomia, and it seems that women are more likely to get this dry mouth compared to men.
The most common cause of xerostomia or dry mouth is the side effect from a medication. The medication that listed xerostomia or dry mouth as its possible side effects are the ones that cause dehydration, which are usually related to allergy, high blood pressure, heart disease, and depression.
Having a dry mouth can have several unpleasant symptoms, including unusual thirst, sore lips, sore throat, bad breath, dry lips, or even speaking difficulties. Fortunately there are a lot of home remedies that you can use to reduce the xerostomia or dry mouth.
Tips to Reduce Xerostomia at Home
- Avoid things that makes your mouth dry
The things that make your mouth dry, including smoking, coffee, tea and alcohol. The last three should be avoided thoroughly while you’re having a xerostomia or dry mouth, because they are diuretics and will make you urinate more than usual.
Sugar, combined with water or other flavored liquid such as juice is a good way to rehydrate and restore your electrolytes. Don’t drink them too much, though.
Needless to say, you need to increase your water intake. If you are unable to drink too much water at a time, try to incorporate your menu with stews, soups, broth, or perhaps some gravy. It is recommended that you take at least 8 ounce glasses of water each day. A simple tip to increase your fresh water intake is to reduce other sweetened drinks like coffee, sodas, tea or alcohol.
- Healthy and Watery Snacks
Celery and parsley are good examples of healthy snacks that you should eat during your xerostomia. The celery can keep your mouth moist and at the same time stimulate the saliva glands. Meanwhile, the parsley is a great way to avoid bad breath.
- Some kitchen spices
Aniseed, Fennel, or the combination of them works in a similar manner to parsley. These ingredients will ensure you have a fresh breath. You can also replace the standard alcohol-based mouthwash with rosemary and mint. In order to stimulate the saliva production, you can opt for the cayenne pepper or other types of hot pepper. Hot food will definitely stimulate your glands to produce saliva, sweat, or even tears. Just endure it for a while and you’ll see the difference.
Always remember to keep your oral health in check. Brushing and other daily oral care is important to avoid the dry mouth. If you feel a severe xerostomia symptoms, you should make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. This way, you can determine the real cause of the xerostomia, and hopefully the best way to treat the dry mouth.