# 4 - PERSONALIZING "SCD" > WHAT CAN I DO FOR DRY MOUTH?


A reduction in the saliva in the mouth happens when the salivary glands in our mouth stop working properly. When they do not function properly they lay the mouth open to a variety of risks like the development of tooth decay since saliva helps prevent the decay of teeth by washing away the remnants of the food eaten. Saliva helps to neutralize harmful acids and keeps the tissue in your mouth healthy.

Reduction in saliva flow, which results in dry mouth and throat, may have one or more underlying cause. Some people react to stress by developing cotton mouth while still others find that certain medications, taken in combination, cause cotton mouth. Sometimes advancing age also causes the appearance of this condition in people.

The more medicines you take, the more likely you are to suffer from chronic dry mouth. Many everyday medicines cause dry mouth, including over-the-counter cold remedies and antihistamines. Anti-depressants, some beta-blockers, anti-hypertensives and diuretics can also be common dry mouth causes.

If you think your medication may be the cause of your chronic dry mouth, speak to your healthcare professional. He or she may be able to change your medication to help you manage your dry mouth symptoms.

Managing or Curing Dry Mouth:

1. The number one rule is that you need to drink copious amounts of water. Yes, that's something that should be obvious, but you'd be surprised how often we neglect to drink the water our bodies need. Keep a water bottle in hand, wherever you go. Those of us who take in a lot of caffeinated and sugared drinks tend to be particularly guilty of drinking too little plain water. Caffeine and sugar generally make things worse by further drying out your mouth. Increasing water should be done slowly. It is not possible to suddenly start consuming large quantities of water one fine day. Try to have a glass every other hour. That itself is a good beginning.  However, if there are other causes of your dry mouth, drinking water will not really offer much relief and could in fact make the condition a lot more uncomfortable.

2. Sucking on ice cubes will help.

3. Use a humidifier at night to keep the air full of moisture, which can help alleviate dry mouth symptoms

4. Avoid all carbonated beverages as they tend to dry up your mouth considerably.

5. Caffeine also makes a dry mouth worse.

6. Alcohol is another beverage that dries the mouth.
7. Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco, as this will always lead to the salivary glands depleting the production of saliva.  Tobacco smoke burns the moisture out of your mouth.
8. Salivary glands can be stimulated by sucking on a date pit for a few hours

9. Make sure your food is not very salty which will leave your mouth dry and thirsting.

10. Avoid citrus juices and sugary foods. They will only promote mouth bacteria and tooth decay.

11. Increasing your intake of whole fruits provide natural water and help your body retain water.  In addition to being nutritionally good for us, the enzymes found in fruits are healthy for your mouth. They also help keep your mouth moist and processes active, which aids in preventing health issues in the gums or lining of the cheeks that can lead to further irritation of the mouth.  Fruits with pits are better, since sucking on pits helps generate more saliva.

12. Celery is a high water concentrated food that is an ideal choice for munching on for those who are suffering from dry mouth. It can be good for you, too.

13. Try to follow a liquid or semi-liquid diet when there’s difficulty in swallowing. Adding yogurt, butter or sauces to moisten your foods can help with this problem. Stews and soups are also be a good option.

14. Some recommend using cayenne pepper to boost your saliva glands. Many people who suffer from dry mouth are likely to have muted tastes, including problems distinguishing from salty and sweet, sour and bitter.

15. Use more rosemary in any of your dishes. You can also get an infusion of this herb by consuming it in tea form. The benefit comes from rosemary’s ability to fight bacteria, which is often to blame for dry mouth.

16. Chewing fennel seeds mixed with anise seed are also good for fighting mouth bacteria.

17. Rinse your mouth with water to which a pinch of baking soda has been added.

18. There is no harm in rinsing your mouth with sunflower oil. Research done at the Russian Academy of Science suggests that when 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil is swirled in the mouth for 15-20 minutes, it activates salivary glands and releases enzymes. The oil should be swirled in the mouth and emptied by spitting.

 

Kay Stence