May 26, 2014

Home Remedies For Dry Mouth

Each one of us has experienced dry mouth sometime or the other, especially when we were stressed out or left high-strung for any reason whatsoever or during the times when we suffered from fever or common cold. Saliva, definitely plays a very important role - it limits the bacterial and fungi growth in the mouth, aids digestion and keeps the mouth moist. When there is decreased production of saliva, there can be dryness and discomfort in the mouth.  It manifests itself as a a sticky, dry feeling in the mouth in addition to difficulty in chewing or swallowing, cracked lips, sores or split skin at the corners of the mouth, excessive thirst, and sometimes accompanied by a dry, burning sensation in the throat or a rough, dry tongue.

dry mouth
What causes dry mouth?
Several factors contribute to dry mouth or Xerostomia. One of the common causes is the use of certain medications like antihistamines, anti-depressants, atropine etc. Some of these are the drugs used to treat depression, high blood pressure and heart disease. Apart from anxiety, situational or otherwise, fear and depression, dry mouth as a symptom is also caused by by pathological conditions like sarcoidosis, Sjogren's syndrome, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease etc., diabetes mellitus, anorexia nervosa and chemotherapy and radiation treatment for cancer among others. Dehydration is also one of the causes which cannot be ruled out. Fever, common cold  with blocked nose,  anemia, vigorous exercise, excessive sweating, diarrhea, vomiting, blood loss, and burns can cause lack of moisture in the mouth. Some other causes are menopause, excessive cigarette smoking and chewing tobacco.

Dry mouth may lead to:
* Increased risk of dental decay due to lack of production of saliva.
* Altered taste sensation due to reduction in the number of taste buds.
* Trouble in swallowing and chewing
* Halitosis or bad breath.
* Incoherent speech or difficulty in talking.

What can be done
If you're frequently encountering a dry mouth, first of all try and find out what could be triggering it.
* Try and breathe through your nose and not your mouth.
* Avoid aerated drinks, coffee, tea and alcohol.
* Control stress with yoga, pranayama, meditation or just about anything you find relaxing.
* Consult your doctor and get a blood picture done to rule out complications.
* Do not use over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants .
* Take care of oral hygiene. Brush with a fluoride toothpaste and floss your teeth.  Use fluoride mouth rinses to prevent rapid spread of dental caries.
* Visit the dentist to have your teeth examined for dental decays and removal of plaque.
* Use a room humidifier to add more moisture to the air at night.
* For people taking radiation treatment, the use of artificial saliva or the use of sialogogues, which stimulate salivary secretion, provide long term benefits.
* In alternative medicine, Electroacupuncture has been found to be effective to a great extent in treating dry mouth.

Home Remedies that may help dry mouth
If your dry mouth isn't a symptom of any disease and there is no no underlying cause for it, try some of these home remedies: 

* Hydrate yourself adequately. Sip water or sugar free drinks throughout the day to moisten your mouth.

* Consume of good doses of vitamin C by having citrus fruits, juices and so on.

* Mix 2 tsp of black currant syrup, 1 tsp of olive oil and few drops of lemon juice. Sip a tablespoon of it thrice daily, it shall act as a lubricant to your mouth.

* Try oil-pulling with coconut oil. Oil-pulling is believed to improve oral health and thus may help in overcoming dry mouth symptoms

* As a part of lifestyle, perform Sheetali pranayama (cooling breath exercise); this can also clear mouth dryness.

References:
Similar reading: Dry eyes troubling you?


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