What Is Cottonmouth (Dry Mouth) and How to Get Rid of It
Appropriately named, cottonmouth is typically referred to as dry mouth. Not so typical is its actual name: xerostomia.
We’ll stick with cottonmouth.
Cottonmouth occurs when your mouth isn’t producing enough saliva. Fortunately, most cases are temporary, but there are situations where problems can occur and wreck an otherwise pleasant mouth.
How do you know if you have cottonmouth?
- Sticky or a dry feeling in the mouth
- Feeling as if you just ate chalk or licked the inside of a softball glove
- Your tongue may click every time you open your mouth
Of course, there are times when cottonmouth can become more severe. In those cases, you may feel a burning sensation in your mouth and throat, your lips are dry and cracked like ball fields in August, and you could have trouble speaking, chewing or swallowing.
Whether severe or temporary, we can all agree, it’s not very pleasant.
Which means it’s important to know the causes of cottonmouth and what you can do to relieve it.
What Causes Cottonmouth?
- Smoking – this includes vaping or any other tobacco or cannabis usage
- Dehydration – eight cups a day will help keep dry mouth away
- Sickness, disease & medications – be sure to read the labels of medications
- Alcohol consumption – too much, too often can reduce saliva flow
- Lifestyle habits – this includes, but is not limited to cannabis use ( edibles included!)
Can Cottonmouth Cause Oral Health Issues?
Because of the role saliva plays in oral health, cottonmouth can cause some issues to oral health.
Without proper saliva flow, complications could include:
- Oral and mouth sores
- Rotting or decaying teeth
- Gum disease
- Bad breath
- Thrush (an oral yeast infection)
- Cracked lips and mouth
How Do You Relieve Cottonmouth?
Finally, you asked!
Home remedies for reducing symptoms of cottonmouth include:
- Drink more water
- Eliminate sugary foods or beverages
- Suck on ice cubes (try to avoid brain freezes though)
- Minimize caffeine consumption
- Get a humidifier for your house to increase the amount of moisture
- Avoid spicy or overly salty foods
- Quit smoking or chewing tobacco
- Reduce alcohol intake
- Stop or reduce cannabis usage
If these home remedies and lifestyle changes don’t help, we have several OTC products you can try that are proven to temporarily relieve cottonmouth symptoms:
Containing zinc and xylitol, these mints can be used any time of day for temporary relief of dry mouth. Zinc is commonly used to treat skin irritations while xylitol is a natural substance found in fruits and vegetables which is commonly used as a sugar substitute.
Xylitol is also produced naturally by our bodies and its benefits include helping prevent respiratory infections and may even strengthen bones!
Our dry mouth mouthwash contains activated zinc ion technology that not only temporarily relieves dry mouth symptoms but also eliminates bad breath for 12 hours per rinse. This is especially useful since one of the most immediate and noticeable side effects of dry mouth is bad breath!
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