If you've ever woken up with morning breath, then you know how powerful the effects of dry mouth can be. Even a few hours of low saliva flow can give bacteria the leeway to run wild on your tongue, leaving you with cottonmouth and a raging case of halitosis. But you don't have to stand for it. Here are some inexpensive and effective dry mouth remedies that you can try at home.
- Drink more water. It may sound totally obvious, but one of the best ways to treat a dry mouth is to simply push fluids. A good rule of thumb is to drink one small glass of water each hour.
- Chew specialty gums. Typical chewing gum, even the sugar-free kind you can find at the store, won't make a difference, but specialty breath freshening varieties can help. That's because the latter are all-natural, oxygenating products. This means that they not only stimulate saliva flow but also make your oral environment hard for microbes to live in.
- Suck on a lozenge. The same specialty product lines that offer gum also make carefully crafted lozenges. These little dry mouth remedies, which are about the size of a cough drop, can wet your whistle while washing away bacteria.
- Avoid caffeinated beverages. Sodas, teas, coffee and other caffeinated drinks may taste good, but they also tend to dry out your palate. Try sipping caffeine-free varieties or sticking to water.
- Abstain from tobacco and alcohol. If you're really committed to a clean and healthy mouth, then this is an easy choice. Smoking, dipping and drinking all parch the tongue and contribute to serious health problems, which means they've got to go.
- Skip the salt. Sodium-rich foods can be disastrous for a chronically dry mouth. Try low-sodium versions of your favorite ingredients, and use salt substitutes instead of table salt.
- Sleep with a humidifier. One of the biggest causes of a dry palate is sleeping with the mouth open. However, short of snoozing with a face mask on, it's hard to keep your yap closed while you sleep. Fortunately, there's an easier way. Simply leave a humidifier on next to your bed at night, and you'll notice that your mouth will be moister and your airways clearer in the morning.