On causes and treatments of lack of natural production of saliva
Help against dry mouth symptoms
The major importance of proper salivary flow for stopping & reversing tooth decay has been discussed at Tooth remineralisation & demineralisation, saliva & pH: (at least) 6 major prerequisites for dental health. The following lists possible reasons for a lack of salivary flow as well as natural remedies and treatment suggestions.
Causes of dry mouth
An obvious cause with an equally easy remedy.
- Alcohol and nicotine both "help" to dry out your mouth.
Both OTC and prescription drugs are a common cause of dry mouth. Eyedrops (e. g. atropine) prescribed for instance against allergies and some or all painkillers (opiods etc.) as well as antihistamines, various antidepressants, antihypertensives, diuretics, benzodiazepines, protease inhibitors, proton pump inhibitors, Interleukin-2, retinoids, didanosine, phenothiazines, cannabinoids and decongestants (ephedrine etc.) all contain substances that hinder/impact salivary production. In fact, according to the book "Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology" (2nd edition) by dentists Neville, Damm et al., 126 of the 200 most prescribed drugs (in the US) induce dry mouth, and the higher the number of ANY medications taken (so-called polypharmacy), the higher the likelihood of suffering from dry mouth.
- Radiation treatment to the neck/head area, incl. dental x-rays
- Medical conditions
Endocrine diseases such as diabetes - dry mouth issues in diabetics are commonly due to consistently high blood sugar levels.
Some diseases (such as certain [rather rare] auto-immune disorders including Sjögren's syndrome) are associated with inadequate saliva flow.
- Surgical removal of salivary glands
- Acute stress
A strong feeling of fear can dry the mouth to the point that speaking becomes virtually impossible.
- Mouthwashes containing alcohol which "dry out" your salivary glands.
Dry mouth natural remedies and treatments
- Increase fluid intake (water, not diuretic drinks such as coffee).
- Chew Mastic gum (resin), a healthy chewing gum alternative which additionally freshens the breath, fights bacterial plaque, helps whiten teeth AND offers unique medical benefits.
- Use xylitol or chew xylitol gum.
In addition to regularly rinsing with xylitol, a particularly simple and effective way of using xylitol is keeping a jar of water with some xylitol added by your bed and sipping at night upon waking with dry mouth. Not only will you combat the dry mouth feeling, but simultaneously help improve the health of your teeth and gums.
Many dry-mouth sufferers have reported (particularly) night-time relief thanks to a specialty product which releases xylitol over a long period of time, see Products against dry mouth: Orahealth XyliMelts.
- Chew celery, a very watery vegetable which moistens the mouth.
- Chew parsley which in addition to stimulating salivary flow also mops up mouth odours.
- Herbs and spices that stimulate the salivary glands include cayenne pepper, ginger, rosemary, fennel and aniseed.
- Discontinue medicinal drugs (unless you think you depend on them), alcohol and nicotine.
- Practice oil or water pulling. Among many other benefits, it will also help stimulate "lazy" salivary glands into greater activity.
- Dendrobium candidum (or moniliforme), a type of orchid found in China, Japan and other places, has been shown to promote salivary secretion and improve dry mouth. It can be taken as a tea or in the form of a liquid extract.
- A potion called Haarlem oil (which dates back several centuries but is used to this day) has as active ingredient a substance named anethole trithione. This substance is known inter alia to improve salivary secretion. Haarlem oil can be bought online.
- If your mouth is dry due to mouth-breathing, consider adding moisture to the air via a vaporizer, especially at nighttime (make sure however not to promote fungal growth in your home in this manner).
Loss of salivary gland function due to radiotherapy healed by dietary change
Wong Hon Sun, ND, was a "dead man" with weeks to live. He had been diagnosed with inoperable throat cancer which was treated with aggressive radiotherapy which among other things had caused his salivary glands to stop functioning.
Given up by doctors, he embarked on a radical naturopathic self-treatment program. He eliminated all processed foods and medical drugs. He completely changed his diet to a raw food regime of fresh tropical fruits and sugar cane juice (plus liver and eggs in the beginning, later replaced with raw vegetables, nuts and seeds).
He engaged in regular exercise outdoors, gradually increasing the effort. In this manner, not only did he heal his "terminal" cancer but his salivary glands returned to normal function as well (and so did a number of other things - he had previously suffered from sinusitis, gingivitis, hay fever, and more).
The complete account of his self-healing can be read in his book "How I Overcame Inoperable Cancer" (with some more background to his story available at Inspirational cancer victors' first-person accounts in book format).
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1 For numerous other "side effects" of conventional cancer treatment, see "Chronic Radiation Enteritis, Chronic Radiation Proctitis, Death from Malnutrition & Other Hazards: Potential Serious Side Effects of Mainstream Cancer Treatment By Radiation Therapy, Chemotherapy & Surgery" and On Chemotherapy.
2 More at Xylitol, a dental miracle sugar?.
3 See Oil pulling for (dental) health and Water pulling as effective as oil pulling.
4 Compare On the link between emotions, stress and caries (cavities) development.
5 Dental x-rays also increase the risk of thyroid cancer.
6 Please be aware that so-called side effects of drugs are not only the cause of untold new suffering but even one of the leading causes of death. That Big Pharma may not have your best interests at heart, can be seen by this shocking personal report. Insider proves pharmaceutical industry puts money / profits before patients' health - and life: massive Big Pharma corruption exposed by whistleblower.
7 Possible help with this under Release & Recovery Tips for Alcohol, Nicotine, Sugar and Sweets Addictions and Similar Dependencies.
8 See "Dendrobium candidum extract increases the expression of aquaporin-5 in labial glands from patients with Sjögren's syndrome" (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20655712).
9 See e.g. Enhancement of salivary secretion by chronic anethole trithione treatment.