The three pints of saliva that your salivary glands produce every day serve a very useful purpose of keeping your mouth hydrated. Loaded with antibacterial substances, the saliva protects your teeth from cavities, prevents food from sticking to your teeth and keeps gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in check.
A lack of saliva or xerostomia, commonly referred to as a dry mouth, can put you at risk of several dental and oral problems. Though dehydration is the most obvious cause, a dry mouth can also be due to smoking, cancer treatment (radiation therapy), menopause and prescription drugs.
However, there are many natural ways by which you can hydrate your parched mouth.
1. Drink Lots Of Water: Keep your mouth hydrated by sipping on water throughout the day. Have at least seven to eight glasses of water daily. Make a schedule for yourself and abide by it. Have a glass of water before and after every meal. Add a dash of lemon or honey if you don’t like to have it plain.
2. Have Sugar Free Candy Or Gum: Chew on a stick of sugar free gum or candy. Chewing stimulates the salivary glands and produces saliva, restoring moisture to your mouth.
3. Avoid Alcohol, Coffee & Salty Foods: Avoid the use of alcohol, coffee, acidic, sugary and salty foods, as they are known diuretics that can strip the mouth off saliva and make it dry. In extreme cases, it is even advised to change alcohol-based mouthwash and dental care products.
4. Include Specific Foods In Your Diet: Eating celery, parsley and rosemary can be useful in preventing a dry mouth. Here’s why:
- Celery: A natural diuretic, celery is packed with water that stimulates your salivary glands and adds moisture to your mouth. Other water-logged foods are carrots and watermelons.
- Parsley: A dry mouth is often accompanied by bad breath, which can get embarrassing. Have parsley every day to eliminate it. A natural breath freshener, parsley is also rich in vitamin A, C, calcium and iron.
- Rosemary: Another popular herb, rosemary‘s antibacterial properties can re-hydrate your mouth. Make a herbal mouthwash by mixing 1tsp dried rosemary with 1tsp each of dried mint and aniseed. Add them to two cups of boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes. Strain and cool. Gargle with this mixture every morning to banish bad breath .
5. Maintain Good Oral Hygiene: Brush twice daily, including once at night, to prevent bacteria from breeding. Don’t forget to floss, too. Also remember to rinse your mouth each time you eat something.