Ayurvedic treatment for Dry mouth

Dry mouth

Know More on Oral Care

  • Definition
  • Causes
  • Symptoms
  • Diagnosis
  • Management
  • FAQS
  • References

Definition

Dry mouth Ayurvedic treatment

Dry mouth (xerostomia) refers to any condition when the salivary glands in your mouth don't produce enough saliva, making it dry. Dehydration or lack of enough fluids in the body is the major cause of this condition. Although not being a serious medical condition in itself, dry mouth may be an indicator of any other medical problem.1-2

In Ayurveda, dry mouth can be compared to a condition called as Trishna, which means thirst. Thirst is a natural phenomenon wherein the body has an increase in the demand for water. Thirst pacifies as we drink water, hence Trishna is nothing but an excessive thirst or uncontrollable thirst.3

Causes

Dry mouth

The following factors may trigger the condition of dry mouth:1-2

  • Some prescription as well as over the counter medicines
  • The aging process
  • A blocked nose
  • Stress
  • Cancer chemotherapy
  • Nerve damage
  • Some health conditions involving the immunity (Sjogren's syndrome) or HIV/AIDS.
  • Drug abuse, tobacco use etc.

Symptoms

Dry mouth

Dry mouth is associated with the following symptoms:1

  • A dry mouth or throat
  • Dense and stringy saliva accompanied by a bad breath
  • Chewing, speaking and swallowing difficulties
  • Different sense of taste
  • Oral problems: tooth decay, gum irritation and gum disease.

Diagnosis

Dry mouth

To diagnose the condition of dry mouth, the doctor will:1

  • Examine your mouth and make a review of your medical history
  • May order for certain blood tests
  • Order imaging scans of your salivary glands or
  • Tests that measure how much saliva you produce

Management

Dry mouth

In Ayurvedic texts, dry mouth is discussed under the aegis of Trishnaroga and has been explained as a disease entity by itself. Trishna has also been mentioned as a symptom of many other underlying diseases. The clinical presentation of Trishna (other than normal thirst) can manifest in different forms and will have treatment specific to the types.3

The ahar (diet) and vihar (lifestyle regime) recommendations for dry mouth are given below.

Diet Recommendations (Aahar)

  • Increase the intake of fluids, especially drinking water to one’s content
  • Consume plenty of frozen chunks of water based fruits and vegetables like watermelon, cucumber, pineapple, etc
  • Drink fruit juices and vegetable juices
  • Drink tender coconut water at least once or twice a day, as it is a good remedy for dry mouth
  • Eat soft and liquid diet like stews and soups
  • Avoid excess coffee, tea, sodas and alcoholic drinks
  • Only consume sugar-free candy or gums
  • Drink plenty of water, but avoid sipping slowly as this can wash off any saliva and make mouth dry.
  • Make a habit to carry water bottle everywhere
  • Avoid spicy foods.

Lifestyle changes (Vihar)

  • Avoid smoking, chewing tobacco and alcohol
  • Avoid mouth breathing as much as you can
  • Consult a dentist if you have tooth caries/cavities
  • Gargle with warm salt water 3-4 times daily
  • Use a room vaporizer to add moisture to the bedroom air

Brush and floss your teeth at least twice daily

FAQS

Dry mouth
  1. How Can Toothaches Be Prevented?

Ayurveda suggests simple diet and lifestyle changes to prevent toothaches. They are as follows:

Diet

  • Sticky substance which may adhere to the teeth should be avoided
  • Food containing sugar and other sweets should be avoided
  • Fruits like guavas, oranges, pomegranates and other fruits of the citrus family are beneficial as they contain vitamin C which strengthens gums
  • Amla must form the part of the diet since it contains the largest amount of vitamin C and is easily available

Lifestyle

  • Maintain a good oral hygiene. Good oral hygiene practices consist of brushing regularly and frequent rinsing of the mouth
  • Make a habit of rinsing the mouth after every meal
  • Use natural oils and extracts from clove oil for toothache. Dab a cotton ball in clove oil on the affected tooth and gently bite down. The natural properties of clove oil can help relieve tooth pain and prevent future cavities and bad breath
  • Using saline water to rinse the mouth after meals helps in curing toothache and even other tooth-related problems
  • Mix equal amounts of pepper, salt and few drops of water to form a paste. Apply this paste on the affected area to relieve toothache
  1. What causes teeth to hurt?

Some of the common causes of toothache includes:

  • Dental decay
  • Dental cavities
  • Swelling of the pulp
  • Tooth infection
  • Broken tooth
  • Exposed tooth root
  • Crack in the tooth
  • Consumption of food rich in carbohydrates and sugar like colas, candies, cakes, etc
  • Consuming hot and cold food together
  • Gum disease
  1. What is plaque?

Plaque is the sticky film or mass of bacteria that grows on the surface of the teeth. It is most noticeable when teeth are not brushed and makes teeth feel rough/fuzzy to the tongue.

When food containing carbohydrates and sugars such as soft drinks, raisins, cakes, or candy are frequently left on the teeth, it leads to the development of plaque. Mouth is full of bacteria which thrive on these food particles producing acids. These acids destroy tooth enamel over a period of time resulting in tooth decay. The development of plaque on the tooth under gums may cause breakdown of the supporting bone present underneath.

In Ayurvedic literature, dental conditions are referred as Danta sharkara, since the appearance of plaque is similar to the sugar coating over the teeth with a granular shape. It is a disease characterized by, hardened accumulation of mala on tooth surface which destroys the teeth and its surrounding structures and is accompanied by bad odour. Vitiated vata takes the form of thick adherence like the thick sugar syrup causing the manifestation of Danta sharkara.

  1. How do I keep my teeth and gums healthy?

Following tips can help you keep your teeth and gums healthy

  • Avoid sugar rich food, hard food, non-vegetarian diet food which will cause the built up of tartar and worsen the problems of dental plaques.
  • Green tea, intake of easily digestible and foods with less fat and carbohydrate prevent the formation of tartar.
  • Consume plenty of raw vegetables
  • Regularly practicing flossing, proper tooth brushing, oral rinsing and regular oil pulling helps to get rid of the plaque efficiently and further prevents the formation of tartar
  • Herbs such as nutmeg (Jatiphala), Triphala (Hareetaki, Vibheetaki and Amalaki) and Saindhava lavana can be made into a fine powder and rubbed well to the teeth. This helps to clear the tartar
  • A mixture of ashes of ginger, long pepper, black pepper and salt can be used for brushing the teeth. Turmeric can be added to this mixture in case of bleeding gums
  1. Can side effects of medications cause dry mouth?

The causes of dry mouth can be attributed to the following:

  • Certain medications
  • Aging
  • A blocked nose
  • Stress
  • Cancer therapy
  • Nerve damage
  • Other health conditions such as immune disease (Sjogren's syndrome) or HIV/AIDS.
  • Tobacco use
  • Drug abuse
  1. What types of foods and beverages should I avoid if I have dry mouth?

Avoid spicy foods and avoid excess coffee, tea, sodas and alcoholic drinks

  1. What’s causing my sore throat?

Sore throat may be caused by the following:

  • Viral infection
  • Bacterial infection
  • Fungal infection
  • Smoking
  • Shouting
  • Allergies
  1. What can I do to make my throat feel better?

Ayurveda recommends the following:

  • Drink plenty of warm fluids, such as teas, soup, and water
  • Hot lemon and honey, honey and cidar vinegar, herbal teas, ginger juice or carrot and apple juice, elderberry juice, blackcurrent tea or juice are all effective during infection which also improve immunity and helps relieving sore throat
  • Daily supplements of teaspoon of cod liver oil, 100 mg vitamin C tablets every 2-3 hours or 2 garlic capsules every two hours can be given until the patient is well again
  • Give plenty of rest to your throat and try not to talk
  • Avoid day sleep since it may lead to Kapha build-up, leading to worsening according to Ayurveda
  • Avoid exposure to cold breeze, water etc.
  • Maintain a good oral hygiene
  • Gargle every few hours using a solution of quarter teaspoonful of common salt or yavakshaara dissolved in half a glass of warm water or decoction prepared from the bark of Acacia (Babul) tree
  1. Is triphala churna an effective remedy for the treatment of mouth ulcers?

Yes, as mouth ulcers are most commonly associated with constipation.  In case of such a situation, use of a mild laxative such as Triphala choorna is advised which will give some relief.

  1. Are there other steps I can take to prevent tooth cavities?

Ayurveda recommends few tips as follows:

  • Decrease intake of sugary foods and drinks
  • Consume foods that are rich sources of calcium
  • Make a mixture of turmeric, salt and mustard oil to make a paste and rub it on teeth and gums
  • Consume plenty of raw vegetables
  • Maintain a good oral hygiene to keep your teeth and gums clean.
  • Avoid smoking and excessive drinking since they may cause dental problems
  • Chewing on fresh herbal sticks in the morning as well as after every meal to prevent diseases. These herb sticks should be either ‘kashaya’ (astringent), ‘katu (acrid), or ‘tikta’ (bitter) in taste. The method of using these sticks is to crush one of its end, chew it, and eat it slowly. The neem (margosa or the Azadiraxhta indica), liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), miswak (miswaak, siwak, sewak) etc. are some examples of herbal sticks
  • Use of an herbal tooth powder madeup from neem powder and salt

References

Dry mouth
  1. Dry mouth. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dry-mouth/basics/definition/con-20035499. Accessed on: 1 September 2016.
  2. Dry mouth. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dry-mouth/Pages/Introduction.aspx. Accessed on: 1September 2016.
  3. Dry Mouth Causes, Ayurvedic Treatment, Remedies, Tips, Diet. Available at: http://easyayurveda.com/2015/11/18/dry-mouth-ayurveda-remedies-xerostomia/. Accessed on: 1 September 2016.
  4. Abhinav Singhand Bharathi Purohit. J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2011 Apr-Jun; 2(2): 64–68. Tooth brushing, oil pulling and tissue regeneration: A review of holistic approaches to oral health
  5. Sunita Amruthesh. Dentistry and Ayurveda - IV: Classification and management of common oral diseases Indian J Dent Res, 19(1), 2008.

Disclaimer: The information on this page is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or ayurvedic treatment of oral-care and/or dry mouth without consulting the doctor. Consult your physician before beginning an exercise regime. "While we have products /ayurvedic medicines for oral-care and/or dry mouth, you must consult an authorized physician before taking any of the products. For more information on products, visit www.dabur.com or call 1800-103-1644"