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Tackling Dry Mouth: Effective Treatments from a Specialist's Perspective

Updated: Nov 27, 2023

Hello to all my readers,

I'm Dr. Shane Cope, DDS, MSD, and I've been navigating the challenges of dry mouth with my patients for over a decade and a half. As someone deeply invested in the study and treatment of oral health issues, particularly dry mouth, I’ve seen firsthand the impact it has on quality of life. My mission at Essential Sprays is to provide relief and resources to those suffering from this condition.

Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is more than an inconvenience; it’s a serious condition that can affect eating, speaking, dental health, and even sleeping. But fear not, there are numerous effective treatments, and with the right approach, you can manage, if not entirely alleviate, the symptoms.

Stay Hydrated

The importance of hydration in the management of dry mouth, or xerostomia, cannot be overstated. Adequate hydration is fundamental in combating the discomfort and health issues associated with this condition. Dry mouth occurs when the salivary glands in your mouth don't produce enough saliva, which is essential for moistening and cleansing the mouth and aiding digestion. Ensuring regular water intake is the most direct and effective way to alleviate the symptoms of dry mouth. It helps to maintain moisture in the oral cavity, facilitating basic functions like speaking, chewing, and swallowing, which can become challenging due to dryness.

Carrying a bottle of water throughout the day and taking small sips regularly can greatly improve oral moisture levels. This simple practice can also help rinse away food particles and bacteria, reducing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease that are heightened in a dry mouth environment. For those who find the taste of water too bland, infusing it with slices of lemon, cucumber, or mint can add a refreshing twist, making it more palatable and encouraging regular consumption.

Moreover, hydration plays a crucial role in the overall functioning of the body, including the efficient working of the salivary glands. Dehydration can exacerbate the symptoms of dry mouth, so it’s important to drink sufficient water, particularly in hot weather or during physical exercise. Additionally, avoiding or limiting beverages that can dehydrate, such as caffeinated drinks, alcohol, and high-sugar beverages, is advisable.

In summary, staying well-hydrated is a simple yet highly effective strategy in managing a dry mouth. It's a non-invasive approach that complements other treatments and lifestyle adjustments, contributing significantly to oral health and comfort.

Stimulate Saliva Production

Stimulating salivary production is a key strategy in managing dry mouth, a condition where the mouth doesn't produce enough saliva. One effective and convenient method is chewing sugar-free gum or sucking on sugar-free candies. This simple action stimulates the salivary glands, encouraging the flow of saliva, which is essential for keeping the mouth moist, aiding in digestion, and helping to neutralize acids produced by bacteria in the mouth. Choosing products that contain xylitol is particularly beneficial. Xylitol is a tooth-friendly sugar alcohol that not only stimulates saliva but also has been shown to reduce the risk of tooth decay. Unlike other sugars and sweeteners, xylitol doesn't lead to the formation of acids that cause cavities. Additionally, xylitol can help to maintain a neutral pH level in the mouth, which is important for oral health. Regularly incorporating these practices into your daily routine can significantly alleviate the discomfort of dry mouth while also contributing to the overall health of your teeth and gums.

Maintain Good Oral Hygiene

Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial, especially for individuals experiencing dry mouth, as this condition significantly heightens the risk of dental problems. Dry mouth, or xerostomia, reduces the saliva flow in the mouth, which is vital for neutralizing acids produced by bacteria and washing away food particles. Without sufficient saliva, the risk of tooth decay and gum disease escalates. To counteract these risks, it is essential to adhere to a stringent oral hygiene routine. This includes brushing teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, which helps in remineralizing tooth enamel and preventing cavities. Regular flossing is equally important as it removes food particles and plaque from areas where a toothbrush cannot reach, particularly between the teeth and under the gumline. Additionally, using an alcohol-free mouthwash can help in maintaining oral hygiene without causing further dryness in the mouth, as alcohol can exacerbate the condition. These practices, combined with regular dental check-ups, form the cornerstone of preventing oral health complications associated with dry mouth. By diligently following these oral care steps, individuals with dry mouth can significantly mitigate the associated risks and maintain a healthy mouth.

Use a Humidifier

Using a humidifier, especially during nighttime, can be an effective solution for those suffering from dry mouth, a condition medically known as xerostomia. Dry mouth is often more pronounced during sleep, when natural saliva production decreases, leading to discomfort and potential sleep disturbances. A humidifier works by adding moisture to the air, creating a more favorable environment that can alleviate the dryness in the mouth. This added humidity can help maintain oral moisture, reduce the discomfort associated with dry mouth, and promote better sleep quality. Placing a humidifier in the bedroom while sleeping ensures that the air remains moist throughout the night, thereby providing continuous relief. For individuals dealing with dry mouth, the consistent use of a humidifier can be a simple yet effective tool to enhance their overall comfort and oral health, particularly in dry or air-conditioned environments where indoor air tends to become arid.

Avoid Irritants

Avoiding irritants is crucial for individuals managing dry mouth, as certain lifestyle choices can significantly worsen the condition. Smoking, for instance, not only dries out the oral cavity but also affects the production and quality of saliva, exacerbating the symptoms of dry mouth. Similarly, alcohol consumption can lead to dehydration and a reduction in saliva flow, thereby intensifying the dryness in the mouth. Caffeine, found in coffee, tea, and some soft drinks, is another known diuretic that can contribute to oral dryness. Being mindful of these habits and reducing or, ideally, eliminating the consumption of these substances can markedly improve the symptoms of dry mouth. Making these lifestyle adjustments is a proactive step toward managing dry mouth more effectively, helping to maintain oral comfort and health. It's also beneficial to be aware of other potential irritants, such as certain spicy or acidic foods, which can irritate the dry oral tissues, and to seek alternatives that are gentler on the mouth.


Understanding whether you are producing enough saliva is vital for maintaining oral health, as saliva plays a crucial role in protecting teeth and gums, aiding digestion, and preventing oral infections. Recognizing this importance, I have developed a resource that offers a FREE saliva test kit, helping individuals determine if they are experiencing xerostomia, or dry mouth, a condition that can lead to various dental health issues if left unaddressed. This test is a simple, yet effective tool in assessing your saliva production levels. Early detection and management of dry mouth are key to preventing its potential complications. I encourage everyone to take advantage of this resource to stay proactive about their oral health. To receive your Free saliva test kit and learn more about managing and treating dry mouth, visit This easy step could be instrumental in ensuring your mouth remains healthy and comfortable, and in identifying if further treatment or lifestyle changes are needed to boost saliva production.

In conclusion, while dry mouth is undoubtedly a challenging condition, it's not insurmountable. Through Essential Sprays and our comprehensive resources, you have a support system dedicated to improving your oral health. Remember, proactive care is key, and with the right tools and knowledge, you can find significant relief from dry mouth symptoms.

To your health,

Dr. Shane Cope, DDS, MSD

P.S. Stay tuned for our innovative solutions, including the Essentials Hydrate Bedside Oasis. Find out more about our cutting-edge products and resources at Essential Sprays.

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