By Natalie and Caitlyn Bell
Let me start by saying, cottonmouth is more than a nuisance, it can lead to major dental problems.
Cotton mouth is a very common problem faced by many and is a term used to describe the dry mouth feeling you get from smoking or drinking alcohol. Cottonmouth also known as xerostomia is caused when saliva production is either stopped or reduced causing your mouth to feel dry or sticky.
Cottonmouth symptoms include dry tongue, bad breath, trouble in swallowing. These problems can be easily treated with simple lifestyle changes and home remedies.
Your mouth salivates on purpose: to protect it and your teeth from bacteria. If you don’t treat cottonmouth promptly, other side effects could occur: like a sore throat or bad breath.
Cottonmouth is usually caused by one of six main things:
First is a condition called Sjogrens where the body attacks the fluid producing cells, literally killing off the saliva producing cells in the mouth.
Number two, prescription and non-prescription medications, in fact, there are literally hundreds of drugs that can cause cottonmouth as an unwanted side effect.
Third, mild dehydration, lack of fluids of course leads to drying of the tissues.
Four, mouth-breathing, this is usually caused by sinus problems; fifth is smoking, and sixth is extenuating circumstances. This would include things like radiation therapy, nerve damage etc.
So now that we know the causes I want to give some tips on how you can get rid of cottonmouth that can work regardless of why you have the dry mouth. I will say though, if you know the cause and the cause is something that you can fix, such as with smoking and dehydration then you owe it to yourself to correct those malfunctions in your lifestyle.
Now let’s start with some remedies to cure cottonmouth.
Suck on Lemon
Lemon stimulates saliva production and prevents cottonmouth. Add the juice of half a lemon and a little honey to a glass of water. Sip this water throughout the day to stay hydrated.
Water is an important remedy for the cottonmouth. People suffering from cottonmouth should drink plenty of water even when you aren’t thirsty. If you drink too quickly, you won’t allow the water to moisten your mouth. Sipping water throughout the day will keep your mouth moist and prevent drying.
Chew gums, Lollipops, Candies-Lifesavers for you
Chewing Gums are a great way to stimulate saliva production and is considered to be one of the best ways to eradicate cottonmouth. Whenever we chew on anything, the salivary glands produce saliva in order to moisten and soften the food. Gums that contain xylitol helps maintain a neutral pH of the mouth. It means, you could potentially be fighting tooth decay while relieving your cottonmouth. For some people, xylitol may cause diarrhea or cramps if consumed in large amounts.
Moisturising properties of grapeseed oil helps prevent symptoms of cottonmouth and as it contains Vitamin E, it also helps or prevents ulcers as a result of internal mouth cracks.
Take some grapeseed oil in your palms and apply it on your tongue and inner cheeks using fingers. Leave it overnight and brush your teeth as usual in the morning.
Aloe vera moisturiser the cotton mouth and it is the age old remedy for dry mouth. You should simply add to the fresh aloe vera gel from the leaves and mix it with little water. Use this aloevera solution as a mouthwash several times a day.
Inhale some steam or use use humidifier
Inhaling steam is a great way to add moisture to your mouth and nasal passages. Just boil some water or use a humidifier and breathe it in.
If you find yourself waking up with a sore throat regularly, invest in a humidifier to keep the air around you moist. Using a humidifier throughout your sessions will also aid in avoiding cottonmouth.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol
Avoid alcoholic, sugary, or caffeinated beverages when you’re suffering from cottonmouth. Avoid Sodium rich food and salty food. Also, avoid using mouthwash that contains alcohol, since this can be drying.
Monitor your caffeine intake and, if necessary, reduce your caffeine consumption. Caffeine can make dry mouth worse. Also, stop using tobacco.
Sip water or tea to keep hydrated and combat cotton mouth caused by smoking.
Breathe through your nose and hydrate it with saline spray
Breathe through your nose not with your mouth. Your dry nasal passages can aggravate the sinuses, mouth, throat, and sense of taste. Using a saline spray can hydrate the ears, nose and throat.
If your mouth is dry throughout the night, your oral health might be affected without you even knowing it. If cottonmouth occurs regularly, it needs to be treated otherwise it can affect a variety of things, including eating, speaking, and your general oral health. Saliva is necessary for tooth and gum health, and enzymes in saliva help aid in digestion.
Now, let me tell you the biggest mistake that people make when trying to treat their cottonmouth. It’s ignoring the fundamentals. Look, our mission in life is to answer two questions, first is “why do we get sick.” And second is “how do we heal? I mean, really heal! The presupposition in those statements is that there is a cause to our health problems and there is a solution to that cause. Use the tools that we discussed here to get fast results, but always try to get to the cause.
If you take medications for cottonmouth ask your doctor for a non-drying alternative. If they tell you that there is no non-drying alternative medication then try to find a non-drug way of treating your health problem.
Stay hydrated, use a humidifier, quit smoking, I think you get it. Find and treat the cause and wake up healthier each and every day.
About the Authors
Natalie and Caitlyn Bell are the founders of Healtholine. They started Healtholine to provide a platform where they could share informative articles related to health, fitness, beauty, weight loss etc Natalie is a featured author at various authoritative blogs in the health and fitness industry. Connect with both sisters to know more.