September 25, 2009

Get Rid of Dry Mouth Naturally

Posted in Category : Common Ailments

A dry mouth is caused due to a reduced amount of saliva which makes eating, swallowing and speaking difficult. The most common cause of insufficient saliva is medication or dehydration due to low liquid intake. Stress, anxiety, smoking, consuming alcohol, chemotherapy, nerve damage to the head and neck area or damage to the salivary glands also lead to a shortage of saliva in the mouth. It is also a natural result of aging.

One of the side effects of a dry mouth is thrush which is a creamy white layer, resembling cottage cheese, formed on the tongue, gums, roof of the mouth, back of the throat or the tonsils. The candida fungus, present in the digestive tract, skin tissue and mouth, is absolutely harmless in a healthy person. It is kept in check by various micro-organisms in the body. However, when the body’s resistance to infections decreases, the fungus grows out of control and causes thrush or candidiasis. The balance may also be disturbed due to stress, the use of birth control pills, antibiotics and corticosteroids. It may also develop due to illnesses. The infection may be passed on during breast feeding or due to hormonal changes occurring during pregnancy. Smoking or wearing dentures that don’t fit well also contributes to fungal growth.

The first step is to ensure that the mouth is kept moist hence it is important to drink plenty of water. Eating soft foods, chewing on sugar-free gum and candy or fruit pits stimulates saliva. Citrus fruits, spicy food and breathing through the mouth should be avoided. Brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day is helpful in reducing fungal infections. People wearing dentures should clean them regularly. Gargling with half a teaspoon of salt added to a cup of warm water is recommended for a dry mouth and for oral thrush. Gargling with warm water mixed with a pinch of salt and cider vinegar also fights infection leading to thrush. A teaspoon of equal parts of myrrh, licorice and Echinacea mixed with water can be used as a mouthwash three-four times a day. A person suffering from yeast infections should have plain yogurt as it is known for its ability to fight fungal infections due to the presence of bacteria that is good for the body. Garlic and onions are also useful in eliminating yeast infections. Bread and white sugar should be avoided as they increase the infection.