Natural Ways to Relieve Chronic Dry Mouth

by | May 30, 2024 | Oral Health | 0 comments

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About a year ago, an Illinois man sued CVS,

claiming that its dry mouth dietary supplement discs are falsely advertised as promoting a healthy mouth by providing lasting moisture. However, the product’s high acidity may erode or demineralize teeth, according to the lawsuit.

Just how acidic is that product? According to the suit, its pH is 5.3 – not as bad as a sugary soda, about the same as carbonated mineral water. Anything with a pH lower than that of a healthy mouth – 7, or true neutral – has the potential to damage tooth enamel. This, in turn, raises the risk of tooth sensitivity, decay, and gum disease.

Whether the plaintiff in the lawsuit experienced this, we just don’t know. What we do know is that the judge recently dismissed the case. Simply, the court believed that the plaintiff had

failed to prove any of the allegations, including that statements on the product’s label could be inferred that the discs stimulate saliva, mitigate salivary gland disorders, and treat disease. The court found these claims unreasonable, noting that a reasonable consumer would not infer that the product[‘s claims that it] “soothes dry tissue” and “promotes a healthy mouth”…mean that it mitigates salivary gland disorders, according to the court ruling.

Furthermore, the product contained a disclaimer that the discs were not evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any disease, according to the court.

Regardless of the legal ins and outs here, the case does offer a good opportunity to remind folks that many commercial remedies for chronic dry mouth do tend to be acidic, as this 2021 study confirmed.

But “many” is not “all.” So one solution is to do the research and seek out non-acidic products. You could also opt for homeopathic remedies known to improve dry mouth, such as Bryonia and Pulsatilla. There are also botanicals that can help moisturize or stimulate saliva production – aloe vera, for instance. Others include nopales, sweet pepper, ginger, hollyhock root, and marshmallow root.

But who says you need to rely on a product? Why not go to the root cause instead?

One of the most common causes of chronic dry mouth is simple dehydration. If you’re not drinking enough water each day, your body can’t generate all the saliva that a healthy mouth needs.

But there are other causes, too, such as anxiety, certain medications, or underlying health issues. These include clogged sinuses that force you to breathe more through your mouth, diabetes, and Sjögren’s syndrome, an immune condition that damages the salivary glands.

If you’re experiencing chronic dry mouth, let us know so we can help you identify and address its root cause. This is especially important if following the tips below fail to alleviate your dry mouth. In most cases, though, a few simple changes can help things immensely:

  1. Drink plenty of water. Carry a bottle of fluoride-free water with you wherever you go and make a point to sip from it throughout the day.
  2. Quit habits that dry out the mouth. This includes consuming alcohol, sugar, and caffeine, and using tobacco or vaping. If you find it too hard to quit altogether, at least limit these behaviors.
  3. Chew xylitol- and/or erythritol-sweetened gum. Chewing stimulates saliva flow, while xylitol and erythritol may protect against decay. We don’t recommend this, though, if you have a TMJ disorder. (We can help with that, too, by the way.) All the extra chewing can make your symptoms worse.
  4. If you use a rinse, make sure it’s alcohol-free, as well as fluoride-free. Alcohol dries out the soft oral tissues.

By improving your saliva flow, your oral pH should stay neutral even as that saliva also delivers the minerals needed for natural ongoing remineralization of your tooth enamel, keeping your teeth strong and your smile bright.

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