Was it fear or shock or perhaps physical stress that caused it? Suddenly, you couldn’t speak. The words literally stuck in your throat. Your tongue felt swollen. And you could barely swallow.
Most people, at one time or another, have experienced stress-related dry mouth. At worst, the temporary condition is frustrating, even embarrassing but certainly not physically damaging. If this is new to you, then you need to read on.
So, what is dry mouth?
Dry mouth just means that you don’t have enough saliva in your mouth. Saliva is just one of those things you take for granted until your mouth goes dry. Then you begin to realise that saliva is truly the body’s miracle mouthwash. It helps you taste, digest and swallow food. It fights cavities and keeps viruses and fungus from attacking the lining of the mouth and throat. Saliva helps you speak and if the throat is too dry, you won’t even be able to sleep at night. The good news is, there are easy inexpensive ways you can ease the symptoms of dry mouth.
Five tips to keep the juices flowing
1. Eat yoghurt, cheddar cheese or milk before and after meals. Studies show these foods increase saliva and fight cavities
2. Put margarine, oil or an ice cube wrapped in gauze in your mouth frequently.
3. Suck on sugar free hard fruit candies or fruit pits between meals.
4. As usual, check your medicine cabinet. For a long time, the theory was that the older you got, the more the mouth got dry. But recent studies show that if most older people weren’t taking drugs that cause dry mouth, they’d have no problem producing saliva.
5. Add moisture in the air.If your home is dry from air-con or heating, use a vaporizer especially at night.
6. Drink more liquids. Sip on water with every bite of food.