The American Dental Association (ADA) warns that dry mouth can lead to bad breath, oral thrush, sore throat, or altered taste. You may also have difficulty speaking, chewing, or swallowing. Over time, these issues may increase your risk of gum disease and other dental problems (via WebMD). Luckily, there are some things you can do to get rid of dry mouth and prevent complications.
For starters, avoid sugary, spicy, and salty foods, as well as caffeine and alcohol, suggests the ADA. These foods and beverages can irritate the inside of the mouth, which can affect saliva production. Note that some types of mouthwash contain up to 26% alcohol, per the British Dental Journal. Ethanol, or alcohol, has antibacterial properties, but it can worsen dry mouth. The ADA also recommends sucking on ice chips and chewing sugar-free gum to increase saliva production. Consider using a humidifier at night to add moisture to the air in your bedroom.
Also, drink plenty of water throughout the day to prevent dehydration and keep your mouth moist. You may also need to see your dentist, especially if you’re also experiencing bad breath or swollen gums. These symptoms may indicate fungal or bacterial infections and require medical attention. Last but not least, you may try oil pulling or acupuncture to get rid of dry mouth. These centuries-old remedies stimulate saliva flow and may provide some relief, says herbalist K. Simon Yeung, PharmD (via Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center).