Dry mouth: dry mouth

When the mouth is dry

Every now and then each of us has a dry mouth: if we don't drink enough on hot days, eat certain dishes or if we are “spit away” because of the hectic pace and stress. A few sips of water are usually enough to remove the unpleasant feeling. However, if the dry mouth persists, the causes should be found in order to avoid negative health consequences. Medicines and naturopathic treatments are available from naturopathy to alleviate the unpleasant symptoms.


Dry mouth; Dry mouth; Xerostomia; dry mouth, dry mouth.

Symptoms and symptoms of dry mouth

A dry mouth feels uncomfortable and is often accompanied by a strong feeling of thirst. Lamentation of the tongue and mouth, complaints of taste and discomfort when chewing and swallowing problems are also complained. The food and the act of speaking can be associated with complaints, painful areas, bleeding of the tongue and gums, and bad breath.

The saliva is viscous, which makes the mucous membranes of the mouth and tongue dry. As a result, the oral flora, which consists of different bacterial strains, can be brought out of its natural equilibrium, so that protection against invading germs is restricted. Among other things, yeasts can colonize which lead to a fungal infection of the mouth and throat (oral thrush) or tongue fungus.

While pathogens accumulate in the mouth, the digestion (due to breakdown processes) of the ingested food is reduced. A mineral loss of teeth, tooth decay and indigestion occur as far-reaching consequences of the disturbed microflora.

Dry mouth favors painful inflammation (stomatitis, canker sores) in the mouth, which often makes it impossible to wear dentures or eat regularly. An initially banal symptom, such as a dry mouth, can result in serious dental problems and malnutrition, which can result in a massive reduction in quality of life.

General causes of dry mouth

Dry mouth can be caused by a lack of fluids and is particularly evident in older people as a sign of internal dehydration, although saliva production seems to decrease with advancing age. People who smoke tobacco and cannabis, mainly coffee, certain types of tea and sugary drinks, often suffer from dry oral mucosa. Women are often affected during menopause, with the hormonal change causing the symptoms.

Dry mouth from medication

In most cases, the symptoms are caused by medication, after all, at least 400 medications also cause dry mouth. These include agents that act on the nervous system, such as antidepressants, sedatives, or hypertension. The same applies to drugs that affect metabolism. These include antibiotics, diuretics, chemotherapy drugs, as well as weight loss and blood lipid lowering agents. Antiallergics, travel nausea medications and pain relievers also have dry mouth as a side effect.

Diseases as a cause of dry mouth

A dry mouth can appear as a symptom of various diseases. Sjögren syndrome, a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease with reduced saliva and tear secretion, is one of the options. Diabetes, Hodgkin's disease, Parkinson's disease and HIV / AIDS are also often associated with dry mouth and inflammation of the oral mucosa.

Stress and anxiety

On the physical level, stress and fear go hand in hand with arousal and activity of the sympathetic part of the autonomic nervous system. Because the release of saliva by the salivary glands is controlled by the parasympathetic part of the vegetative, conditions that are due to permanent stress and anxiety, cause dry mouth. The vernacular describes this connection admirably when it is said that "the spit stays away".

Naturopathy: Therapy and aids

If underlying illnesses are responsible for the complaints, the focus of the therapy is on this. Conventionally, drugs are prescribed to increase saliva production.

If medication is the reason for the symptoms, medical and naturopathic support should look for alternatives: medication for moderate depression, pain, high blood pressure and increased fat levels (possibly due to fat metabolism disorders) can be gradually supplemented and ideally replaced by herbal or homeopathic medication .

Hormone changes in the menopause can also be positively influenced by means of naturopathy. However, it should be noted that plant drugs can also cause dry mouth. In this case, homeopathic preparations are preferred to relieve typical menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, excessive sweating, rapid heartbeat and mood swings without unpleasant side effects. Cimicifuga racemosa, Sanguinaria canadensis, Sepia and Ignatia are particularly suitable here.

Chewing stimulates the digestive process and stimulates the salivary glands to secrete. If these are fully functional, chewing gum or aromatic spices (fennel seeds) can stimulate the flow of saliva.

In any case, care must be taken to ensure adequate hydration in the form of water. Here, small children, the elderly and people in need of care of all ages depend on the support of relatives or carers who should regularly remind them to drink and have drinks ready.

Proven home remedies for dry mouth from inflammation

Marshmallow root decoctions are suitable for preventing or relieving irritation or inflammation in the mouth. The mucilages in the plant have cooling and moisturizing properties, which also have a protective effect on the mucous membranes. Sage, myrrh and chamomile tinctures can weaken or kill harmful germs and are therefore an alternative to antibiotics from natural medicine.

If the dryness causes inflammation of the mouth (stomatitis), a number of homeopathic remedies can help. If the inflammation occurs primarily in connection with psychological stress, Hepar Sulfuris can be used both for treatment and for prevention. Arnica inhibits inflammation and has a decongestant and analgesic effect.

For pain in the gums, very dry mouth and a bitter, foul taste, Pulsatilla pratensis can be the treatment of choice. Krameria triandra is useful when tongue stinging, bad breath and swollen, slightly bleeding gums occur during stomatitis.

Hypnosis against stress and anxiety

If persistent stress with fear, inner restlessness and excessive demands are reasons for dry mouth, it is advisable to find the stressors and to work out alternatives in professional advice.

Working with self-organizing hypnosis procedures is particularly effective for this purpose, as well as revealing ("Where does the problem come from?") Also contains solution-oriented components ("What can I do to get rid of the problem again?"). In addition, the state of hypnosis leads to relaxation and switching of the vegetative functions, which can already lead to increased salivation.

Self-hypnosis exercises can be quickly learned and used by anyone. Meditation, autogenic training or progressive muscle relaxation lead to similar changes in the vegetative system. (jvs, nr)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Jeanette Viñals Stein, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch


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Video: Acupuncture reduces radiation-induced dry mouth for head and neck cancer patients (December 2021).