Xerostomia Treatment – Ten Home Remedies for Dry Mouth That Work

Xerostomia, also known as dry mouth is one of the most difficult complications of autoimmune disease, chemotherapy for cancer, and many kinds of necessary medications. Successful xerostomia treatment, however, usually stops bad breath, makes food taste good again, reduces the need for quarterly trips to the dentist to get cavities filled, and makes eating, talking, and other oral activities for more enjoyable. Here are ten tips for home remedies for dry mouth that really work.

drinking

  1. Make swallowing food easier by taking tiny sips of water between bites. This helps you keep your mouth clear of the particles that can cause halitosis and tooth decay. It’s important to clear your mouth with water so you can taste your food.
  2. Suck on hard candies or ice chips between meals. Sugar-free hard candies made with xylitol actually help fight cavities. Steva-sweetened candies are helpful if the product also includes xylitol (as many stevia candies do).
  3. Start every meal with a sour or tart food, such as a vinaigrette over a salad or a small serving of a pickled vegetable. Or start your meal with a sour beverage. This stimulates the flow of saliva and makes eating easier.
  4. Rinse your toothbrush between brushings so it does not become a home for the bacteria that cause gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath. To sanitize your toothbrush, hold it under the hot water tap for at least 15 seconds, and then place where it can dry in the air.
  5. If you don’t live in a humid climate, consider buying a humidifier, especially for the room where you sleep. This will also help with dry eyes, chronic bronchitis, and chronic sinusitis. Do not use a humidifier if you have a problem with mold.
  6. Eat as many moist foods as possible. Eat soups, stews, fruits, vegetables, and casseroles. Enjoy gravy and sauces whenever you can.
  7. Eat your food in small bites. Give you mouth maximum opportunity to generate saliva. Small “bites” are even a good idea with broth and soup.
  8. Avoid foods with sharp edges, like potato chips and crackers, and also foods that stick to your teeth and gums, such as peanut butter, almond butter, taffee, and raisins.
  9. Whenever you feel your mouth getting dry, take a small sip of water. Try to avoid moistening your mouth with carbonated beverages, since they can add to the burden of tooth decay, even if they are not made with sugar.
  10. Brush your teeth three times a day, taking care that your are brushing your teeth, not your gums. Use a soft-bristle toothbrush, and apply a nonabrasive toothpaste. If your gums hurt too much for you to brush your teeth, rinse your mouth with a mixture of warm (never hot!) water and baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon (1-2 grams) of baking soda in 1/2 cup (120 ml) of warm water.

It also helps to use wetting agents such as Biotene, Xero-Lub, Salivart, and Oasis as well as mouthwashes, mouth rinses, toothpastes, and chewing gums specifically designed for dry mouths. If you are dealing with xerostomia after radiation therapy, consider taking 1 to 5 capsules of a high-quality fish oil every day to minimize inflammation.