Are you a smoker?
If so, you must be familiar with its unfortunate side effect- cotton mouth or dry mouth. Doctors refer to this condition as xerostomia. (1) They usually recommend you an oral rinse or salagen to increase saliva production. But we don’t want you to try those chemical induced products. (5)
You can get rid of cotton mouth using some simple natural remedies at home.
Home Remedies for Cotton Mouth
You can relieve cotton mouth by reaching out for some natural ingredients. These are available in your home. There are also some lifestyle hacks that you can tap into for good oral health.
Let’s learn about these natural remedies.
1. Drink More Water
Hands down water are the best form of drink for you any time of the day. Keep your body hydrated by consuming enough water throughout the day. Proper hydration keeps the salivary glands busy in producing saliva. Thus, you never feel a desert inside your mouth.
The health experts recommend consuming 2 liters of water daily for a healthy body. (6)
The process of drinking water or other fluids is also essential.
Learn how drinking water can help relieve cotton mouth:
It’s a natural tendency to gulp like a horse when you are all thirsty because of a cotton mouth. But do your tongue a favor and drink slowly. This process will allow the salivary glands to absorb the water and keep your tongue moist. Sipping water with a straw is an efficient way to trigger the salivary glands. If you don’t have a tonsil problem, suck on a small piece of ice.
Note: Caffeinated drinks contribute to dehydration. (7)
2. Raise Your Fluid Intake
Water isn’t the only source of hydration. You can tap into many other sources of fluid to tackle your cotton mouth. (8)
Consume juice, coconut water, herbal tea, etc. to fill in yourself with natural fluids.
3. Chew Sugar-free Candies and Gums
Munching on sugar-free candies and gums is an effective way to relieve cotton mouth. Research shows that citrus or sour candies can heal damaged salivary glands. (9)
Next time you have a dry mouth pop in lemon, orange or mint-flavored candy. It can stimulate the salivary glands and flood in a flow of saliva immediately. It has beneficial effects on hard and soft oral tissues as well. (10)
Note: Don’t even go near sugary candies and gums. These can decay your teeth in the long run. You should go for xylitol based gums. This natural sweetener keeps a neutral acidity level in your mouth. It also prevents tooth decay. (11)
4. Limit Alcohol
5. Cut Down on Caffeine and Teas
Coffee and some teas contain a high amount of caffeine. Any caffeinated drinks are diuretic in nature. That means caffeine causes the kidneys not to let the water get reabsorbed into the blood.
Thus, over-consumption of tea and coffee on a daily basis results in a frequent urge for urination. Hence dehydration sets in that contribute to cotton mouth.
Moreover, teas contain astringent properties called tannins. These properties have adverse effects on body pores. The compound shrinks the pores and causes dehydration or dryness of the body tissues.
You need to cut down on your caffeine intake. This way you can reduce the chances of dehydration caused by caffeinated drinks.
6. Use Natural Mouthwash
Using mouthwash is a favorite way to keep oral hygiene. It can give you germ-free teeth and a refreshing breath.
But, using chlorhexidine mouthwash may leave you with a dry mouth. It may also cause alteration of taste buds on your tongue.
Shun these chemical products to avoid a dry or cotton mouth. Here’s a simple homemade mouthwash for you.
A simple way of relieving cotton mouth using mouthwash:
Mix 1 cup of warm water, 1/8 teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of baking soda to make a solution. Take it in small sips and rinse your mouth twice a day
7. Change Your Toothbrush
Managing a cotton mouth can be as simple as changing your toothbrush. So, Switch to a new soft bristled-toothbrush. It’ll help you clean every nook and corner of your teeth.
The bad breath causing bacteria make their home in the narrow crevices of teeth. These bacteria can cause you cotton mouth in the long run.
8. Change Breathing Pattern
A wrong breathing pattern is also responsible for dry mouth. Often waking up in the morning you may find a dry and sticky mouth with bad breath. It is because you breathed through your mouth and not the nose.
Sometimes, your nose may be all plugged up with congestion. This condition makes you switch to breathing through the mouth. It dries up the moisture of your tongue and gives you a cotton mouth.
Pay attention to your breathing. You can try doing pranayama yoga in the morning and consciously breathe through the nose. (13)
You have to take care of your nasal congestion. Use saline drops, humidifier or hot steam to clear up your nasal passage and airways.
9. Use Humidifier
Using the humidifier is an ideal therapy for cotton mouth relief. It controls the humidity level of the room and can add moisture to the air.
Add a good humidifier in your life to resolve all these problems with dryness.
You can pour in your favorite essential oil into the humidifier. It’ll give you a good night’s sleep in a relaxing humid atmosphere.
Apart from using a natural mouthwash discussed above, you can try this gargle method. It’s a simple process that ensures oral hygiene. Also, it stimulates the salivary glands to secrete more saliva into your mouth. (14)
How to gargle to get rid of cotton mouth:
Add ½ cup salt to 1 cup warm water and mix them well. Gargle with the solution three times a day
11. Suck on a Lemon
Detecting the type and intensity of taste is an essential way of how your tongue produces saliva.
The study shows that citrus or sour taste can stimulate a high flow of saliva immediately. Sucking on a piece of lemon is a natural way to moisten your mouth.
It gives a refreshing feel and breath apart from beating cotton mouth. (15)
Read More: 10 Ways Lemon Oil Can Benefit your Health
12. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper or guinea spice is the red-hot chili pepper that you use to spice up your dishes.
But I bet you did not know it has an extraordinary contribution to your digestive process.
Cayenne pepper can trigger the salivary glands to produce saliva. It, in turn, helps digest your food. (16)
Below you have a simple cayenne pepper remedy for cotton mouth.
Learn how to use cayenne pepper if you have cotton mouth:
With your wet finger take a pinch of cayenne pepper powder. Rub the pepper around the muscles of your tongue. You’ll have a burning sensation, but saliva will gush in immediately. Also, you can spice up your dishes with cayenne pepper
13. Fennel Seeds
Fennel seeds are the dried seeds from potent- fennel herb. It is a favorite ingredient in Indian culinary because it has a warm and aromatic flavor.
Fennel seeds contain flavonoids along with many other medicinal properties. Flavonoids are useful stimulators of your salivary glands to produce saliva. (17)
How you can use fennel seeds for cotton mouth:
You can munch fennel seeds to treat your cotton mouth. It is a good mouth freshener as well as a moisturizer.
14. Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is an ancient method of detoxification of the body. It’s also great for treating oral diseases. It can help you in getting rid of cotton mouth.
Try this oil pulling to soothe cotton mouth:
Take 1 tablespoon of extra virgin coconut oil in your mouth and swish it around for 10 to 20 minutes. Spit out the oil and wash your mouth with salt water. Later you can brush your teeth as well
Note: Do oil pulling the first thing after waking up in the morning. Make sure you don’t swallow the oil.
People regard cardamom as the queen of spices because of its sweet aroma and flavor.
Chewing cardamom is an active ayurvedic practice to treat cotton mouth. It relieves lousy breath caused by a dry mouth and provides a rush of moist at once. (18)
You need to follow the process below.
Learn how you can use cardamom to get relief from the dry mouth:
Add 1 teaspoon of cardamom powder to 1 glass of hot water. Stir well and leave it for 10 minutes. Drink the solution. Repeat the process twice daily.
Note: You can chew on a cardamom seed after every meal or when you experience a dry mouth.
Ginger isn’t only a great ingredient to flavor your non-veg dishes. Its medicinal properties can boost your salivary glands and secrete more saliva.
Easiest ways to soothe your dry mouth using ginger:
Chew on a ginger piece for long-lasting moisture inside your mouth. Also, you can add ginger and honey to your tea. It will take your tea drinking experience to another level plus treat your dry mouth.
17. Slippery Elm
The inner bark of the slippery elm tree has medicinal values. It can treat a sore throat, dry mouth, and other oral ailments. Its chemical compounds and mucilage can secrete mucous and saliva in your body.
Try this slippery elm recipe to get rid of dry mouth:
Add 1-2 tablespoons of slippery elm to 1 cup of hot water and stir well. Cover the solution and let it steep for 10 minutes. Strain it and add 1 tablespoon honey. Drink the solution twice a day.
18. Aloe Vera
You can’t escape Aloe Vera when thinking of a natural remedy for any illness (19). The clear and odorless Aloe Vera gel is an ideal remedy for cotton mouth. It also protects the soft tissues inside your mouth and boosts your taste buds.
Follow the Aloe Vera juice recipe given below.
A simple way of using aloe vera to treat cotton mouth:
Mix ¼ cup of gel and 1 cup of lukewarm water to make a juice. You can drink the juice or wash your mouth with it thrice a day.
Read More: Aloe Vera for Acne: 5 Effective Ways to Use
Causes & Symptoms of Cotton Mouth
Cotton mouth has the following symptoms:
- A sticky mouth
- Desert dry tongue
- Irritation in throat
- Problems with chewing, swallowing, tasting and speaking
- Bad breath
- Cracked Lips
- Mouth sores
- Interruptions in sleep due to thirst
- Gum inflammations
- Difficulty wearing dentures (2)
The salivary glands in your tongue produce saliva. It keeps your mouth moist and free from infections.
But some components of cannabis can affect the glands. It can lower your saliva production. Lack of enough saliva gives you a cottonmouth.
But, smoking weed isn’t the only cause of cotton mouth. Some other factors are also responsible for it. (4)
- A side effect of medication – studies show there are over 500 medications that cause dry Mouth.
- Diseases such as; HIV/AIDS, Diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease.
- Damaged salivary glands during radiation therapy
- Nerve damage in head or neck
Tips for Oral Health and Cotton Mouth
- Use fluoride-based toothpaste
- After each meal wash your mouth with warm water
- Regular brushing and flossing is mandatory for avoiding tooth decay as cotton mouth
- Quit smoking and tobacco use
- Munch on water-based vegetables such as celery sticks, cabbage, carrots. These vegetables will moisten your mouth.
When to See a Doctor
You can usually treat your dry mouth with natural ingredients. But if the symptoms don’t go even after using home remedies, you should seek medical attention.
Besides, cotton mouth may lead to other severe issues like gingivitis and tooth decay. It may also cause mouth infection. If you see these symptoms, do visit a doctor and discuss your concerns.
Cottonmouth is an uncomfortable experience. Why should you suffer anymore when you can get rid of it fast with the natural remedies discussed above?
But, if things get severe, you must consult a doctor.
If you have already tried some of these, share with us your experience. We would love to hear your healing stories.