Dry mouth is termed as xerostomia. It is often a symptom of under functioning of salivary glands, associated with aging, dehydration, stress, anxiety, snoring, depression, smoking or drinking alcohol.
Pregnant or breastfeeding mothers may also experience dry mouth due to dehydration and hormonal changes. Dry mouth can also be a side effect of certain medications used to treat depression, nerve pain (neuropathy) and anxiety, as well as some antihistamines, decongestants, muscle relaxants and pain medications.
Other possible causes include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, diabetes, nerve damage and autoimmune diseases.
In Ayurveda, dry mouth is featured as one of the symptoms of vataja trishna and rasa dhatu kshaya.
Complications of dry mouth:
- Halitosis – Bad breath.
- Difficulty in speaking, swallowing and chewing.
- Unable to perceive taste.
- Increased fungal and bacterial growth in the mouth, which may precipitate dental caries and mouth sores.
- Irritation, discomfort in the mouth.
Home remedies for dry mouth:
- Include amla, raisins and dates in your diet regularly.
- Munch on fennel seeds several times a day to treat dry mouth.
- Dry roast equal amount of fennel seeds and fenugreek in a pan, grind them thoroughly and add little salt. Take ½ tsp of this mixture with warm water.
- Increase your fluid intake. Drink coconut water, butter milk and fresh fruit juices daily.
- Oil pulling, an ancient Ayurvedic practice, helps keep your mouth moist and thus is very helpful in treating dry mouth. Put 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin coconut oil or sesame oil in your mouth. Swish the oil around your mouth thoroughly for about 15 minutes. Spit it out and rinse your mouth with warm water.
- Drinking ¼ cup of aloe vera juice daily is beneficial.
- Boil 1 tsp of yashtimadhu churna in a glass of milk and equal amount of water till only milk quantity is left. Drink this once a day on an empty stomach.
Avoid excess intake of salt, pungent, spicy foods, smoking, alcohol. Minimise the intake of coffee/ tea, exposure to scorching sunlight and fire. Exercise moderately. Manage stress, anxiety, and fear by practising yoga and meditation. Pranayama like shitali and shitkari are also beneficial.