A lack of saliva production, also known as xerostomia, can be dangerous for your overall dental health. Saliva prevents tooth decay, and a healthy individual will produce up to three pints of it a day.
On the other hand, a dry mouth is more susceptible to cavities, plaque buildup, gum disease, and even bad breath.
Poor saliva production can happen for many reasons. Most commonly, it is a side effect of certain medications. Other times it can actually hint at salivary gland disease, dehydration, or other conditions.
While sometimes a lack of saliva needs to be treated with medications that target a specific condition, it can often be treated with various products available to you and home remedies.
- Fibrous Foods
One remedy to alleviate a dry mouth is to chew on a lot of fibrous foods. The mouth’s chewing action stimulates the production of saliva in the salivary glands and can help keep your mouth hydrated.
Foods that you could consider adding to your diet include fibrous fruits and vegetables like apples, raw carrots, celery, etc. These fruits and vegetables also have a high water content, which can help keep your mouth hydrated.
- Acidic Foods
Many acidic foods and drinks kick the salivary glands into action. Acidic foods cause your mouth to pucker and trigger saliva release to balance your mouth’s pH levels.
Some acidic foods you could add to your diet include tart or sour fruits. For instance, citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits or tangerines can help you keep your mouth hydrated.
Alternatively, apple cider vinegar can be used as a mouthwash to freshen your breath and keep your mouth moist. You can add a tablespoon of it to a glass of water and rinse your mouth several times with it to stimulate saliva production.
- Xylitol Products
Any sugar-free candies or products with xylitol can help with a dry mouth. Not only are sugar-free candies good for your teeth but sucking and chewing on them can stimulate the salivary glands.
Some good examples of candies that are good for your dental health and can help with a dry mouth include Fuzzy Rocks. Unlike other sugary sweets, these rocks made of xylitol crystals actually keep your mouth clean and come in several flavors.
If you’re not much of a candy person, you might want to consider Fuzzy Brushes. These chewable toothbrushes are coated in xylitol and can stimulate saliva production.
- Toothpastes and mouthwashes
There are many over-the-counter products designed for people with xerostomia. These include products like toothpastes and mouthwashes that hydrate the mouth. They can be useful alongside other products and a diet that promotes saliva production.
Keeping yourself hydrated is essential to producing adequate amounts of saliva. Make sure you drink even when you’re not thirsty. This will help not only your mouth but also your overall health.
Products (besides water) that can help you stay hydrated generally have a high water content. Broths, soups, and even gravy have a high water content, and it may be helpful to include them in some of your meals. Other options include juices and smoothies.
The bottom line is that you should stay hydrated to make sure you’re not aggravating your xerostomia.