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Dry Mouth: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

Last Updated: Oct 04, 2021

What is the treatment?

Dry Mouth indicates experiencing an uncomfortable feeling when your mouth generates less saliva. The essentiality of saliva that is inevitable in maintaining a good health fails to work properly. In the beginning you would feel extremely thirsty. Primarily home remedies can improve the situation but if it continues for a longer time span, doctor consultation is required. Often drugs given to treat depression, anxiety, painkillers, diarrhoea usually result in extreme dryness of mouth. However, if the problem remains in improper functioning of salivary glands (may be the result of chemotherapy and radiation), treatments to improve the production of saliva remains the focus.

The treatment of dry mouth generally aims for three areas that includes the result caused by the underlying effects of drugs that result in dry mouth, action against tooth decay and gum protection, proper saliva flow in the mouth. Dry mouth sometimes produces bad breath which is extremely uncomfortable to deal with. It gives u a sticky feeling within your mouth. If you are facing Xerotomia, it is advised to try some home remedies in the primary day. Some of this remedies includes chewing of sugar free gum, sip water from time to time, and restrict your intake of caffeine.

What is a Dry Mouth a sign of?

A Dry Mouth is a sign of improper functioning of salivary glands. When sufficient saliva is not getting formed, the mouth becomes dry and sticky. In addition to this, Dry Mouth indicates a bad breadth as well as a sore throat. Other signs have altered the feel of taste, difficulty in speaking, and chewing or dryness of tongue.

Is Dry Mouth a symptom of IBS?

Along with bloating, pain in the abdomen, flatulence, and cramps, Dry Mouth is also an often-occurring symptom related to Irritable bowel syndrome. It is of chronic form and causes salivary glands to produce a decreased amount of saliva. The prolonged low salivary secretion leads to the condition of Dry Mouth.

Is Dry Mouth a serious problem?

Dry Mouth occurs normally in the condition of stress, anxiety, or nervousness. However, it may be associated with some serious conditions including salivary gland diseases, Sjogren’s syndrome, diabetes, and AIDS. Related symptoms are the occurrence of infections in the mouth, dryness in the throat, sores in the mouth along with a burning feeling, and difficulty in swallowing, speaking, and chewing.

How is the treatment done?

If you experience extreme dryness within your mouth, the best option is to consult a doctor. However, in the beginning it is recommended to follow some home remedies but if it does not show any improvement, you should consult a doctor immediately. The doctor would conduct a check on your medical history and overview the medication you have undergone before. This is because some specific medicines remain the cause of dry mouth. Often the doctor prescribes blood and various other tests that would measure the amount of saliva formation in your mouth. If it is suspected that the dryness is caused due to Sjogren’s syndrome, you might have to send a sample of a cell from your mouth (a salivary gland in your lip) for testing purpose.

On being diagnosed the cause of dry mouth, the doctor may change the medicines that reduce dryness in your mouth. There is availability of numerous mouthwashes in the market especially to treat dryness and enhance moisture. Mouthwashes that comes with xylitol are reviewed to be more effective, products like Act Dry Mouth and Biotene Dry Mouth Oral Rinse are more preferred as it also helps in protecting teeth from decaying. On suffering from dry mouth, you can even visit a dentist as it would provide you with a complete solution to both dry mouth and tooth protection.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

There is no such eligibility for availing dry mouth treatment. It is very common within people. Anyone can face this condition either due to the intake of medicine that stimulates dry mouth, or if affected by Sjogren’s syndrome. However, it is advised to drink enough water throughout out the day. This helps in avoiding dry mouth conditions.


Who is not eligible for the treatment?

There lies no such criteria or eligibility for not availing the dry mouth treatment. Dry mouth symptoms can take place in any people of any age group. Person suffering from dry mouth is advised to take treatment.

Are there any side effects?

One of the most prescribed medicine for people with dry mouth condition is Pilocarpine. It helps in stimulating the process of salivary glands. On the other hand, Pilocarpine does not show much effect on patients suffering from dry mouth as a result of radiotherapy.

If you are prescribed to have Pilocarpine by the doctor, you might face some side effects like dizziness, blurred vision, excessive sweating and even a runny nose that is very uncomfortable. The doctors generally prescribe a low dose of Pilocarpine at first and then increase the dosage with the time that enhances the treatment process with least side effects.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

Patients suffering from dry mouth condition should maintain some regular tips in order to avoid further occurrence. It is recommended to keep your mouth clean so that it remains free from plaque and debris. If you fail to clean you might face pain, bleeding, ulceration and get infected. It is beneficial to have drinks frequently thus maintaining the moisture level in your mouth. Always keep a gel wherever you go. Your lip and oral care are very essential. Doctors’ advice to avoid more intake of sugary food and drinking between meals. A sugar free chewing gum is very useful that helps to comply with saliva stimulation.

However, for dental patients, it is advised to spit out the excess proportion of toothpaste post brushing. Even rinsing mouth with water is advised to avoid. Use of silk brushes is useful to patients suffering from excess pain in the mouth. Further, a track with the doctor check-up is extremely necessary for both normal dental patients and people suffering from effects of chemotherapy.

How long does it take to recover?

The recovery span of dry mouth condition remains dependent on its cause. If your dryness is due to side effects of any ongoing drug, it likely stops when you stop taking the medicine. Even for patients with dry mouth due to chemotherapy, the condition gets demolished with the end of chemo treatment. However, in case of Sjogren’s Syndorme that includes malfunctioning of salivary glands, recovery is rare and the patient has to bear it lifelong.

Is Lemon Juice Good for Dry Mouth?

Lemon is enriched with valuable properties due to which it proves to be effective in relieving the symptoms related to the condition of Dry Mouth. It acts as a stimulating factor for the salivary glands and enhances salivation. Hence lemon is considered to be a well-renowned natural method to get rid of Dry Mouth. It can be consumed in the form of lemon juice and lemonade.

Is yogurt good for Dry Mouth?

Yogurt is one of the most recommended natural remedies for treating the condition of Dry Mouth. It acts as a stimulating factor for the salivary glands and enhances the secretion of saliva. Hence it proves to be much more effective, even more than lemon, when the condition of Dry Mouth is taken into consideration.

Is tea bad for Dry Mouth?

Caffeine is contraindicated in the case of Dry Mouth. Hence caffeine-containing beverages which include tea also is bad in the case of Dry Mouth. Saliva does the job of keeping our mouths wet. The compound present in caffeine is responsible for a decreased formation as well as secretion of saliva in the mouth, hence resulting in conditions like Dry Mouth.

Can honey help a Dry Mouth?

Honey is one of the most recommended home remedies which is preferred to treat conditions such as Dry Mouth. Saliva does the job of keeping our mouths wet. The compound present in honey is responsible for stimulating our salivary glands and hence enhances increased secretion of saliva in the mouth which is much needed to get rid of the Dry Mouth.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The treatment for dry mouth condition in India depends on the condition of the patient. Basically it involves doctor’s appointment fees, tests if necessary and medication expenses. Even post treatment involves expenses.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Dry mouth conditions are mostly temporary. If properly diagnosed by doctor followed by medication, it gets recovered with time. However, in case of patients suffering from Sjogren’s syndrome, long-term oral medication and treatment may reduce symptoms.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

People suffering from dry mouth conditions may try herbal medical processes too. Herbal medication is observed to produce satiating results in treating dry mouth conditions. These herbal include teas made from marshmallows and slippery elm. However, it does not seem to produce many benefits. On the other hand, use of Electroacupuncture (using electrodes to stimulate the acupuncture in the skin) is observed to produce promising benefits for dry mouth conditions.

Summary: A Dry Mouth, also known as Xerostomia, is a sign of improper functioning of salivary glands when sufficient saliva is not getting formed and the mouth becomes dry and sticky. It occurs normally with stress, anxiety, or nervousness or it may relate to serious conditions such as salivary gland diseases, Sjogren’s syndrome, diabetes, and AIDS. Home remedies such as lemon, honey, or yoghurt prove to be effective in such conditions.


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Written ByDr. S.Sagin Raj Diploma in Diabetology,CCRH (certificate in reproductive health),MBBS,F.F.M(family medicine)General Physician
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