How to Deal with Dry Mouth: Remedies and Tips

Understanding Dry Mouth

Dry mouth, scientifically known as xerostomia, is a condition characterized by inadequate saliva production by the salivary glands, leading to a persistently dry mouth. Common symptoms encompass a parched sensation in the mouth, increased thirst, sores, cracked lips, a dry throat, halitosis (bad breath), and difficulty in chewing, swallowing, or speaking. Contributory factors range from medications and systemic health conditions to aging and specific lifestyle practices.


Hydration plays a pivotal role in the effective management of dry mouth, also known as xerostomia. It involves not only the regular intake of water but also the avoidance of substances that can exacerbate dehydration and the use of environmental controls to maintain moisture levels. Here is an expanded overview of these strategies:

Regular Water Consumption

  • Consistent Sipping: Make it a habit to drink water consistently throughout the day. Carrying a reusable water bottle can serve as a reminder to stay hydrated. Optimal Quantity: While individual hydration needs vary,aiming for at least 8 glasses (about 2 liters) of water daily is a good baseline. Adjust this amount based on your activity level, climate, and overall health.
  • Incorporate Hydrating Foods: Consume foods high in water content, such as cucumbers, zucchinis, watermelons, and strawberries, to aid in maintaining oral moisture.
Staying hydrated to help combat dry mouth

Minimizing Dehydrating Liquids

  • Limit Caffeine and Alcohol: Both substances are diuretics, which means they increase urine production and can lead to dehydration. Opt for decaffeinated versions where possible and moderate alcohol intake.
  • Alternative Beverages: Choose hydrating alternatives like herbal teas, which can provide hydration without the dehydrating effects of caffeine and alcohol.

Environmental Moisture Control

  • Use of Humidifiers: Placing a humidifier in your bedroom or main living spaces can significantly increase air moisture levels, particularly in dry climates or heated indoor environments. This is especially beneficial during nighttime when dry mouth symptoms can worsen due to decreased saliva production during sleep.
  • Monitoring Humidity Levels: Aim to maintain indoor humidity levels between 30% and 50% to help alleviate dry mouth symptoms. Hygrometers can be used to measure humidity levels and ensure they are within this optimal range.

Additional Hydration Tips

  • Avoid Mouth Breathing: Breathing through your mouth, especially during sleep, can increase oral dryness. Try to cultivate the habit of nasal breathing and consider speaking with a healthcare provider if you have difficulties due to nasal congestion.
  • Chewing and Sucking: Chewing sugar-free gum or sucking on sugar-free candies can stimulate saliva flow. Look for products containing xylitol, which can also help to reduce the risk of tooth decay.

By implementing these hydration strategies, individuals with dry mouth can significantly improve their symptoms and overall oral health. Regular consultation with healthcare professionals is recommended to ensure these methods are complemented with appropriate medical advice and treatments.

Maintaining Oral Hygiene

For individuals grappling with dry mouth, maintaining optimal oral hygiene transcends the conventional advice of brushing and dental checkups. Here's an expanded approach tailored to mitigate the challenges posed by reduced saliva production:

Enhanced Tooth Brushing Technique

  • Soft-Bristled Toothbrush: Opt for a soft-bristled toothbrush to prevent irritation of the gums and the oral mucosa, which can be more vulnerable in a dry mouth condition.
  • Thorough Cleaning: Brush gently yet thoroughly twice a day, paying close attention to all surfaces of the teeth and the gum line. This removes plaque and minimizes the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Toothbrush Sanitation: Regularly replace your toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if the bristles become frayed, to ensure the effectiveness of your brushing technique and maintain oral hygiene.

Regular Professional Dental Care

  • Frequent Checkups: Schedule dental visits at least twice a year for professional cleaning and examination. Dentists can offer personalized advice and treatments to address the specific challenges of dry mouth. Professional
  • Fluoride Treatments: Inquire about professional fluoride treatments that can provide additional protection against tooth decay for individuals with dry mouth.

Diet and Nutrition

  • Limit Sugary and Acidic Foods: These can increase the risk of tooth decay, especially in the absence of protective saliva. Opt for a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to support overall oral health.
  • Stay Hydrated: Consuming water and eating hydrating foods not only aids in overall hydration but also helps cleanse the mouth and dilute sugars and acids.

Utilization of Proclaim Custom-Jet Oral Health System

  • Customized Oral Care Systems: The Proclaim Custom-Jet Oral Health System, equipped with personalized mouthpieces and targeted water jets, offers a tailored cleaning experience that can be particularly beneficial for those with dry mouth, ensuring gentle yet effective hygiene maintenance without the physical abrasiveness of traditional cleaning methods.

Avoidance of Harmful Substances

  • Reduce or Eliminate Tobacco Use: Tobacco can exacerbate dry mouth symptoms and contribute to gum disease and tooth decay.
  • Moderate Caffeine and Alcohol: Both can contribute to oral dehydration. Opting for less dehydrating alternatives can help maintain oral moisture levels.

Incorporating these comprehensive oral hygiene practices can significantly mitigate the discomfort and dental health risks associated with dry mouth. Leveraging advanced oral health technologies, like those offered by Proclaim Health, further personalizes care, enhancing the effectiveness of daily oral hygiene routines.

When to See a Doctor

Addressing persistent dry mouth (xerostomia) requires more than just at-home remedies and lifestyle adjustments. There are specific situations where seeking professional medical advice becomes imperative:

Persistent Symptoms Unresponsive to Basic Interventions

  • Unrelieved Dryness: If continual hydration, the use of humidifiers, and adjustments to reduce dehydrating behaviors do not alleviate the dryness, it may indicate an underlying health issue or a need for medical treatment.
  • Long-term Effects: Ongoing dry mouth can lead to significant oral health issues, including tooth decay and gum disease, due to reduced saliva's protective effects.

Impact on Eating and Speaking

  • Functional Interference: When dry mouth severely affects your ability to eat, swallow, or speak, it compromises not just comfort but also nutrition and communication. Professional assessment can help determine the cause and appropriate interventions.

Accompanying Symptoms Suggestive of Underlying Conditions

  • Unexplained Weight Loss: This can be a sign of more serious health conditions that manifest with dry mouth as a secondary symptom. Other Systemic Symptoms: Dry mouth paired with symptoms like dry eyes, joint pain, or persistent fatigue may indicate systemic conditions such as Sjögren's syndrome or diabetes.

Professional Evaluation for Medication Side Effects

  • Medication Review: Numerous medications, including those for hypertension, depression, and allergies, can cause dry mouth. A healthcare provider can review your medications to identify potential culprits and discuss alternatives or adjustments.

Specialized Treatments

  • Salivary Stimulants and Substitutes: Prescription options, such as pilocarpine (Salagen) or cevimeline (Evoxac), can stimulate saliva production or offer artificial substitutes to provide relief.

Diagnostic Procedures

  • Comprehensive Evaluation: A healthcare professional can perform tests to evaluate salivary gland function and diagnose conditions contributing to dry mouth. This may involve blood tests, imaging, or biopsy procedures.

Guidance on Managing Associated Health Risks

  • Dental Health Collaboration: Regular dental checkups are vital for individuals with dry mouth to monitor for and address dental health issues. A healthcare provider can work in conjunction with your dentist to ensure comprehensive care.

If you experience persistent dry mouth symptoms, particularly if they're accompanied by other health concerns or significantly impact your quality of life, consulting a healthcare professional is a crucial step toward identifying the cause and receiving effective treatment.


What are the common causes of dry mouth?
Common causes include certain medications, aging, radiation therapy, and conditions like diabetes and Sjogren's syndrome.

Are there any specific foods or drinks to avoid or consume?
Avoid acidic and spicy foods, as they can irritate dry mouth. Focus on hydrating fluids and moist foods.

Can dry mouth be a sign of a more serious health condition?
Yes, it can be a symptom of systemic diseases like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, or Sjogren's syndrome.

Is dry mouth a side effect of common medications?
Many medications, including antihistamines, decongestants, painkillers, and high blood pressure medications, can cause dry mouth.

Are there any specific exercises or therapies to increase saliva production?
Mouth exercises, acupuncture, and certain medications can help stimulate saliva production.

In summary, managing dry mouth involves a combination of proper hydration, maintaining good oral hygiene, using natural remedies, making lifestyle changes, and seeking medical advice when necessary. By adopting these strategies, you can alleviate discomfort and protect your oral health.