Avoid dry mouth in front of an audience
SUMMARY: Getting up in front of an audience can be frightening, and having dry mouth can make matters much worse.
Posted: March 25, 2013
Actors, public speakers and even teachers spend a lot of their time addressing an audience. For many people with these types of careers, dry mouth is an inevitable symptom that can put a damper in any performance or speech. There are several reasons why people experience dry mouth, from anxiety to a lack of moisture. Here are a few ways to prevent this ailment from rearing its ugly head.
Going on stage can be frightening, whether it is the first or thousandth time. Voice actors or speakers who are looking for dry mouth remedies may want to first make sure they are drinking enough water before getting in front of an audience. Anxiety is known to dry out one's system, so not being hydrated enough will just worsen the situation. Teachers and speakers should try to have a bottle of room temperature water with them at all times to keep their mouths moist. Any actor or performer may want to keep a bottle handy for when they step off stage. Before getting in front of an audience, one should take a sip of water and swish it around their mouth for a few seconds. This will help to make sure that all the tissues in the mouth are rehydrated properly.
It may seem a little strange, but swishing a small amount of olive oil in the mouth can help with a dry, sticky mouth onstage. It will leave a protective coating on the tongue, back of the throat and cheeks so that moisture is locked in.
A bit of citrus
Citrus juices can help prevent dry mouth because it can break down any mucus that is making it challenging to swallow or breathe properly. Sometimes, dry mouth is a product of post nasal drip because the dense accumulation of mucus forces individuals to breathe through their mouth. Make sure to choose a juice that has no pulp and doesn't leave a residue behind.
Getting in front of an audience, no matter how large, can cause anxiety for a lot of people and this is a common trigger for dry mouth. If you find that you get very nervous before taking the stage, you may want to try some relaxation techniques to calm yourself down. Concentrating on breathing is a simple way to simmer the body. If possible, sit in a quiet room with the lights turned low. Try to let go of any troubled feelings of taking the stage, and count as you breathe. It may seem very simple, but just counting the breath as it goes in and out can release tension and allow for a fresh start.
Cut out bad habits
Drinking any sugary beverage, smoking cigarettes or consuming alcohol can greatly hinder the moisture in your mouth. If you are getting ready for a big show, avoiding alcoholic beverages the previous night is also a good idea. The caffeine in coffee can also cause issues, so you may want to consider limiting your intake of coffee or other caffeinated beverages before a performance.
Why dry mouth is so bad
As an actor, dry mouth can be very uncomfortable on stage, and can cause the voice to be not as strong as it normally would. But dry mouth can also lead to bad breath, which can be uncomfortable for other actors that are onstage – especially for anyone who must perform in an intimate scene. Before going onstage with these ailments, make sure to take a mouth?-wetting lozenge or sugar?-free gum that will help stimulate saliva flow and alleviate bad breath.