9 Home Remedies for Dry Mouth

Doctor William C Lloyd Healthgrades Medical Reviewer
Medically Reviewed By William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Written By Jennifer Larson on June 10, 2021
  • woman sitting at kitchen counter
    9 Home Remedies for Dry Mouth
    >Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is a pretty unpleasant situation. There are numerous ways to address the problem, but before you try any of them, consult your healthcare provider, especially if you are taking any medications. Identifying the cause can streamline relief for your dry mouth. Cancer treatments, hormone therapy, some antidepressants, even certain OTC meds like antihistamines and decongestants are notorious culprits of dry mouth. Try some of these strategies to increase the flow of saliva in your mouth and to provide some relief.
  • Woman drinking water
    Drink more water.
    Okay, so this is the obvious one. How much water do you typically consume in an average day? You can boost your consumption of fluids by keeping a bottle or cup of water with you and taking sips throughout the day. Or suck on some ice chips.
  • cup of coffee
    Avoid caffeine.
    Research shows consuming a lot of caffeine can cause xerostomia—or make it worse if you already have it. Cut back or cut out the caffeinated coffee and sodas, and up your intake of decaffeinated tea and water. Add a twist of lemon, lime or orange to your water if the straight-up version doesn’t do it for you.
  • table top humidifier at home
    Use a humidifier.
    Remember those antihistamines and decongestants that tend to try out your nasal passages? They make your mouth dry, too. If you need to take these medications, try using a cool-mist humidifier in your home to add moisture to the air, especially in your bedroom at night.
  • Use Mouthwash
    Try a special toothpaste or mouthwash.
    You might be loyal to a favorite type of toothpaste or mouthwash, but consider switching to one of the brands specially formulated to help reduce the uncomfortable sensation of dry mouth. The Mayo Clinic suggests looking for xylitol in the ingredients list on the label. Artificial saliva products such as rinses, moisturizing gels, and sprays containing xylitol or carboxymethylcellulose may also help you. Meanwhile, put any mouthwashes containing alcohol back on the shelf, since alcohol can dry out your mouth even more.
  • chewing gum
    Savor a sugar-free treat.
    Suck on a piece of sugar-free hard candy or chew a piece of sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production in a tasty way. Again, look for xylitol on the package, since this ingredient can help stimulate the flow of additional saliva.
  • Cigarettes
    Stop smoking.
    If you smoke or use tobacco, it’s time to kick the habit once and for all. In addition to other negative health consequences, tobacco use can exacerbate dry mouth. The toxins in cigarette smoke not only reduce how much saliva your mouth produces, but smoking seems to lead to a greater presence of Candida species, which can cause thrush, and gingivitis.

    Inhale through your nose, not your mouth. Dry mouth can reduce your sense of taste and increase your chances of getting an infection in your mouth or throat. So try breathing in through your nose, not your mouth. According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, inhaling through your nose helps by adding some moisture to the air, which also reduces dryness in your lungs.
  • mixture of wine, liquor, beer glasses on bar
    Reduce your alcohol consumption.
    You’ve already pitched the mouthwash containing mouth-drying alcohol. Now it’s time to switch to virgin drinks at happy hour, too. Besides drying out your mouth, alcohol consumption tends to trigger the need to urinate more frequently, which also contributes to water loss.
  • parsley
    Nibble some parsley.
    Eating sprigs of parsley won’t actually cure your dry mouth, but it can improve the bad breath that often accompanies it. Bonus: parsley is also high in vitamin K, which helps your blood clot appropriately.
9 Home Remedies for Dry Mouth

About The Author

Jennifer Larson has more than 15 years of professional writing experience with a specialization in healthcare. She has a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland and memberships in the Association of Health Care Journalists, the Society of Professional Journalists, and the Education Writers Association.
  1. Dry Mouth Treatments. Cleveland Clinic. http://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases_conditions/hic_Dry_Mouth_Treatments
  2. Mizutani S. Relationship between xerostomia and gingival condition in young adults. Journal of Periodontal Research. 2015;50(1):74-9. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jre.12183/full
  3. Your Nose, the Guardian of Your Lungs. Patient information sheet. American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery. http://www.entnet.org/content/your-nose-guardian-your-lungs
  4. Dry Mouth? Don't Delay Treatment. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm254273.htm
  5. Dry Mouth. Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dry-mouth/expert-answers/dry-mouth/faq-20058424
  6. Rad M, et al. Effect of Long-term Smoking on Whole-mouth Salivary Flow Rate and Oral Health. J Dent Res Dent Clin Dent Prospects. 2010;4(4):110-4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3429961/
  7. Dry Mouth. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/oralhealth/Topics/DryMouth/DryMouth.htm
  8. Parsley. MedLine Plus. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002407.htm
  9. Xerostomia. Oral Cancer Foundation. http://www.oralcancerfoundation.org/complications/xerostomia.php
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Last Review Date: 2021 Jun 10
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