Ever felt that your mouth is like a desert? Having a dry mouth is not really a serious condition that could be considered an illness. In fact, like fever, it is sometimes a symptom of a different medical condition. That is why many people who experience this issue rely on dry mouth home remedies instead of going directly to the doctor to get it treated. Here is some information about what you need to know about dry mouth, its causes, symptoms, and well-known dry mouth home remedies.
What is dry mouth?
Having a dry mouth is when you feel that there is not enough saliva to cover your mouth. Saliva is necessary for the protection and moisture of your entire oral cavity, and it also has enzymes that aid in digesting your food. Lack of it will make it easier for bacteria to invade cracks and lesions that will form on your mouth structures, leading to gingivitis, tooth decay, thrush, and other mouth infections. It will also make digesting your food a little more difficult for the stomach since the food particles are not yet broken down properly.
Causes of dry mouth
There are so many reasons why a person can develop a dry mouth. It is not a specific illness but is considered a symptom. We can group these causes into 4.
This cause is a no-brainer, actually. Of course, if you have lesser fluids in the body, dry mouth can occur. But dehydration can also be from a disease you may have developed that would cause you to sweat and lose all the moisture in the body.
Problems with salivary gland
If your salivary gland gets blocked or infected, saliva production is ceased and will cause dry mouth. For patients who have salivary stones or infections affecting the salivary gland, they have dry mouth as a symptom.
Associated medical conditions and their medications
This is actually the most popular cause of dry mouth. There are so many medical conditions that use medications that can cause dry mouth, and as long as you are using those medicines for your medical problem, having dry mouth is inevitable. Here are some medications that can cause dry mouth.
- High blood pressure medications
- Antidepressants (such as Wellbutrin, Lexapro, and Zoloft),
- Diuretics (furosemide, torsemide)
- NSAIDs or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Steroids (Prednisone and prednisolone)
- Amphetamines (Adderall for ADHD)
Here are also some medical conditions that can cause having a dry mouth:
- Anxiety, depression, or panic disorders
- Parkinson’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Sjögren’s syndrome
Breathing through the mouth when sleeping
Aside from toothaches and sleep apnea, we can also experience dry mouth during our night’s sleep. We already have a low production of saliva normally at night. This is because our brain is telling us that we would not do anything that would need an increased amount of saliva like eating, so it regulates the production. However, if you have problems with breathing while sleeping that can cause you to snore or sleep with your mouth open, chances of developing dry mouth are possible.
Dry mouth home remedies
Because having dry mouth is not really a disease but is considered as a symptom of one, people would just prefer to have home remedies to fix the problem. Here are some tried-and-tested dry mouth home remedies that even you can practice.
Drink more water. Because dehydration is the primary source of having a dry mouth, allowing your body to have more fluids can help ease the low production of saliva.
Stop smoking. Although smoking tobacco or cigarettes is not really a cause to have dry mouth, it can worsen your problem if you have dry mouth, because it reduces the production of saliva.
Try chewing gums. If you lack saliva, you have to do something to stimulate its production, and chewing gums may be the answer to that. Try the sugar-free ones but make sure that you don’t overdo it, since chewing these products make cause some serious bloating issues.
Stay away from caffeine and alcohol. Ever noticed why when you drink coffee, tea, sodas, or beer, you would always want to urinate more often than usual? That is because these drinks have caffeine which is also a diuretic. Diuretics are water pills that make the body expel salt and water through urination. So if you already have symptoms of having dry mouth, skip these drinks and opt for water instead.
Use a humidifier. Dry mouth home remedies? Try buying and using air purifiers and humidifiers. Humidifiers add moisture to the air we breathe, so instead of adding to the dryness of your mouth, the air that circulates the room adds moisture and helps lubricate your mouth and nose.
Add spices to your food. This practice is mostly practiced in countries where spices are aplenty, like India, but it is found out that some common spices can stimulate saliva production. Cayenne pepper, cardamom, and fennel seeds can be added to your cooking or you can simply chew them for instant relief.