How to Cure a Dry Tongue – Ten Tips for Treating a Dry Tongue

Millions of older people have a chronic problem with dry tongue. Making it harder to talk and to eat, dry tongue and dry mouth can become a truly serious disability when they cause gum infections and mouth sores. Most of the time a dry tongue is due to a dental issue.

When teeth fall out or break off and are not replaced, one of the lips may pull back, leaving a little gap. The constant flow of air through the crack between the lips, especially at night, dries out the tongue and the lining of the mouth. Tiny fissures provide a home for infectious bacteria, and new infections can cause further tooth loss making the condition even worse.

There is no simple cure for this kind of dry tongue, but there are things that can be done to make living with the condition easier. Here are ten suggestions.

    1. Drink tiny sips of water as often as possible. If it is difficult for you to go to the bathroom to urinate, it’s important to put the emphasis on “tiny.” It only takes a little water to moisten the tongue and mouth, and it’s not even necessary to swallow.

    2. Try over-the-counter saliva substitutes such as Aquoralâ„¢, Caphosol®, Entertainer’s Secret®. Some of these products require that you wait 30 minutes before eating or drinking anything else after administration. Try just a little bit of the product first to make sure you are not allergic to any of its components.

    3.If you are diabetic, take special care to keep your blood sugar levels well controlled. Any blood sugar reading over 180 mg/dl (10 mmol/L), even for a few hours, can damage the nerves that control the salivary glands that keep the tongue and mouth moist.

    4. If you have severe mouth pain without obvious signs of sores or infection, you may have burning mouth syndrome. This may be a side effect of a mediation, or indicate a zinc deficiency. Don’t take more than 50 mg of zinc a day, and make sure your supplement contains copper as well as zinc.

    5. Make your dentures fit. If your dentures cause one jaw to jut in front of the other, you will tend to have to deal with both dry mouth and dry tongue.

    6. Make sure your denture cream keeps your dentures in place, for the same reason.

    7. If dry tongue occurs shortly after starting a new medication for high blood pressure, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, anxiety, depression, or memory loss, see your doctor about the correct dosage.

    8. Avoid caffeinated beverages. They stimulate the nerves that “turn off” salivation.

    9. If your diet permits, don’t be afraid of salty food. If your tongue is not raw or sore, salt in your food will increase salivation and moisten your mouth.

    10. If you have a sleeping partner, find out whether you snore or possibly suffer sleep apnea. Treating sleep apnea will often cure dry tongue and prevent many other serious health issues.