Advice on getting rid of that uncomfortable dry mouth feeling

November 27, 2013

Do you find it hard to wet your whistle? Approximately one out of five adults suffers from xerostomia, or dry mouth. Fortunately, there are solutions.

Advice on getting rid of that uncomfortable dry mouth feeling

If you regularly experience that sticky tongued feeling, as if a cotton ball had set up house permanently in your throat, you are with some 20 percent of the adults who suffer from dry mouth. Fortunately, there are several ways to prevent or limit the annoyances linked with this situation, which can be caused by a variety of factors.

Saliva, where are you?

Basically, the sensation of dry mouth occurs when the salivary glands are not sufficiently active to properly moisten the mouth. The lack of saliva means the teeth are not kept clean, as our spit is what helps to eliminate bacteria, microscopic fungi, and dead cells from the mouth.

That kind of oral environment increases the risk of gum disease and cavities. In addition, digestion, which begins with the saliva in the mouth, is hindered. Consequently, those who have dry mouth often suffer from bad breath, experience a metallic taste in their mouth, and constantly feel thirsty.

Multiple causes

The reason for the saliva gland inaction needs to be tracked down. Several medications can be causing the problem, as can ageing and hormonal changes linked to menopause. Similarly, illnesses such as cancer (and some of its treatments), diabetes, HIV, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and strokes can affect saliva production.

Measures to be taken

In all cases, there are some measures that can be taken to help you say “So long, adieu, auf Wiedersehen, good-bye to dry mouth.

  • stop smoking
  • avoid products that contain caffeine
  • consume alcohol and soft drinks in moderation
  • go lightly on spicy and salty products, which can further irritate a dry mouth
  • chew gum or suck on sugarless candy, preferably mint, cinnamon, or lemon-flavoured
  • maintain adequate air moisture in the house
  • drink a lot of water


If these measures aren’t enough to help you, it’s time to consult. A dentist will be able to advise you on products that are made to stimulate saliva production, notably sprays or saliva substitutes. He or she will also suggest that you use alcohol-free toothpaste and mouthwash, which are formulated for anyone experiencing dry mouth.

Furthermore, check with your doctor to see if your medication could be the cause. If that is the case, he or she may modify the dose so as to decrease or eliminate the adverse effects. Then, your dry mouth would become nothing more than a bad memory.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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