By dentist Dr. Richard Mitchell
The best dry mouth remedies depend on what is causing your mouth to be dry. And a lot of the time, there isn't just one treatment for dry mouth! Most dry mouth cures are a combination of things.
Because the most frequent cause of a dry mouth is medication prescribed by a doctor, the first thing to do is write down which medications you are taking.
Don't forget to write down the non-prescription medicines, too, such as hay fever or allergy treatments. If you think your dry mouth may be caused by one of the medications you are taking, talk to your doctor.
He or she may be able to do one of two things; either adjust the dose you are taking to reduce the side effects of dry mouth, or switch you to a different drug that doesn't cause dry mouth. That's a quick dry mouth remedy!
However, switching medication or adjusting the dose may reduce the degree of dry mouth that you get, but might not get rid of it completely. You may still have some dryness or a feeling of irritation in your mouth.
Still, reducing the degree of dryness by adjusting your medication is the first step.
For those of you where dry mouth has another cause, or you are still getting a dry mouth after your doctor has checked your medications, there are some other things you can do when searching for dry mouth remedies.
A very common cause of dry mouth is where you have got into the habit of breathing through your mouth rather than through your nose. This can quickly dry out your mouth, leaving a sticky sensation.
The problem is usually worst when you breath through your mouth at night, particularly if you live in a climate with dry air, or you have heating or air conditioning that dries the air.
The simplest of dry mouth remedies here is to breath through your nose as much as possible. If you have problems breathing through your nose due to nose or sinus issues, you might want to see an ENT specialist.
Otherwise, it's more about breaking a habit. You can use various little tricks to remind yourself to breath through your nose, such as tying a small piece of string around your finger, leaving little notes for your self, and texts / emails to yourself.
If you do have a dry environment, due to the climate where you live or to artificial heating or air conditioning, then a useful tip is using a room vaporizer or humidifier to add moisture to the bedroom air at night. This has been shown to also reduce the levels of influenza-causing virus in the air and on surfaces around the home.
The next obvious thing is to increase the amount of saliva that is being produced. Providing your salivary glands have not been damaged by radiotherapy or surgery, there are a couple of ways to do this.
Your doctor may prescribe a medication that stimulates saliva production; the most common is called Salagen. However, it can cause unpleasant side effects in some people.
You can suck sugar-free candy to stimulate saliva flow. I recommend Xlear Spry Products, because they also contain Xylitol which is a natural sweetener, and helps to control harmful bacteria in your mouth. I think that the Cinnamon or lemon burst flavors are usually best for dry mouth.
If you have tried all the dry mouth remedies above, then your next treatment for dry mouth involves accepting that you are going to have a dry mouth to a degree, but taking some steps to minimize the discomfort;
So, when it comes to the best dry mouth remedies, there are THREE products that I can recommend. The textures and flavors are a matter of personal preference, so if you don't like one of these, you will probably find that one of the others will work well.
ORAMOIST is promoted as a natural product. The other products from BIOTENE and XCLEAR also contain Xylitol, which is a naturally occurring sweetener that is actually beneficial for your teeth!
Pick a product to try out; if you find it doesn't work too well for you, try one of the other ones! What have you got to lose, except your dry mouth!