Xerostomia, or dry mouth is a subjective feeling that the mouth is too dry. The terms comes from the Greek: Xeros = dry and stoma = mouth. This condition is commonly called pasty mouth or cotton mouth and effects 20% of the population. Lips may stick together, be chapped or cracked. A pasty mouth makes it difficult to talk as the tongue sticks to the roof of the mouth. It may be difficult to swallow or taste food.
Since a dry mouth is also indication that other digestive glands are also dry, Ayurveda recommends that you maintain a moist, juicy mouth at all times. Saliva is the most important digestive aid. Thorough chewing ensures optimal mixing of food with saliva. Saliva also contains enzymes, antiseptics, and antibodies that digest food between teeth and kill bacteria that cause tooth decay. Inadequate saliva can lead to increased cavities. At night, production of saliva drops. Always brush your teeth upon waking to reduce buildup of bacteria in the night.
Xerostemia is prevalent among the elderly. Although salivary gland output drops only modestly as you age, your sense of thirst weakens and this could lead to inadequate fluid intake. The elderly also take more medications. Many pharmaceuticals can lead to dry mouth.
Salivary glands normally produce .75 - 1.5 liters of fluid per day. A dry mouth can be a sign of inadequate hydration, one of the earliest signs of high Vata. Although drinking too little fluids can be a leading cause of dehydration, do not overlook sweating, loose stools, excess urination, and electrolyte imbalance as causes of dehydration.
When the blood is toxic or after you have eaten a diuretic food, the kidneys will flush excess water out of the body (via the urine) along with toxins. This, along with various kidney deficiencies, can make it difficult for some individuals to stay hydrated.
Kapha type dry mouth may be a sign of thick fluids and sluggish circulation, making saliva thick and tacky. It can also be a sign of high blood sugar (especially in diabetics) or sodium levels. Salt and sugar, because of their effects on osmotic pressure, create strong thirst.
Pitta-Kapha type dry mouth occurs in pear shaped individuals, where fluids collect in the lower extremities, and the top remains dry.
Other common causes include mouth breathing especially due to a stuffed nose. Although saliva naturally decreases at night, if your mouth feels parched upon waking, you might be mouth breathing while sleeping. Stress and fear can make the mouth pasty. Saliva stimulated by stress is also thicker than saliva stimulated by food. Alcohol, diuretics, and astringents, especially mouthwash, can create a dry mouth. Dry mouth is also related to dry eyes, the inability to cry, dry skin, and a hoarse voice.
Remedies for Vata Type Dry Mouth
Vata should address xerostemia at the root by rebuilds fluids and electrolytes. Drink water from a 32oz ball jar so you can track water consumption through the day. Set alarms on your hpone if youneed reminders to drink, so that a habit may be established. If water feels heavy in your stomach, spices and salt in your water can help you drink a larger quanity.
Once hydrated, Vata may employ sialogogues to directly increase production of saliva. Foods with sour, salty, sweet, bitter, or umami taste stimulate saliva. Ginger is a stimulating sialogogue. A slice of fresh ginger stimulates saliva. Or, enjoy a ginger tea with a squeeze of lime, pinch of salt, and a pinch of sugar.
Saliva is also stimulated by the sight, smell and taste of desirable food. Desire itself stimulates saliva. Chewing stimulates saliva, as well as palpation of the salivary glands. Try chewing gum (sugar-free) to keep your mouth moist.
Sours Make Your Mouth Water
When you sip something sour, your mouth starts to water. Sour taste stimulates saliva, especially foods that are high in ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and malic acid. This why, when your body naturally dries out in autumn, you may crave sour foods like apples and cranberries
You can experiment with a lime and salt digestive appetizer before meals to encourage your body to get the digestive juices flowing. This makes digestion more smooth and efficient, saving you from uncomfortable gas and bloating. Having a glass of warm water with lemon in the morning gives a similar effect. Note: Exercise caution with cold sours in the fall such as blueberries. Sour taste opens pores,causing loss of heat. Therefore, if you use sours to stimulate hydration, dress warmly to prevent heat loss through the skin. A lemon, cinnamon tea however, is warming for this time of year.
Salty, Sweet Foods Help Retain Water
An extra pinch of salt, and a bit of sugar, can help your body retain moisture by reducing the osmotic pressure of blood plasma in the kidneys.
Oily & Demulcent Foods Coat Dry Tissues
Oatmeal, groundflax, and chia seeds have a demulcent, slimy quality that will coat dry tissues, and keep your mouth feeling moist. The slimy quality of these foods also nourishes the mucosal lining of your stomach, protecting it from dryness. Oily foods can also coat tissues. Massage with oils (abhyanga) prevents loss of moisture through the skin.
Herbal teas with the above qualities (sour, demulcent, salty, or oily) can also help your body stay hydrated. A few days a week, have licorice tea or marshmallow tea. Licorice and marshmallow have a demulcent, slimy quality that will make you feel more hydrated and nourished than plain water. They will leave your mouth feeling gently salivated and refreshed, and will keep your mind and body calm.
Remedies for Kapha & Pitta Type Dry Mouth
For Kapha Type Dry Mouth, fresh ginger tea with honey also makes you feel less thirsty, encouraging proper digestion and keeping you warm. Turmeric can help thin fluids, invigorate the blood, and reduce blood sugar levels. Bitters (such as neem) stimulate saliva but also address the root cause of Kapha dry mouth.
For Pitta-Kapha Type Dry Mouth, eliminate the underlying fungal infection by reducing simple carbs and sugars, and with anti-fungal herbs or ointments.
Augment your diet with these specially chosen ingredients below which may be useful for 'Dry Mouth / Tongue'.
Individual results vary depending the cause of your imbalance and by constitution.
Please research the ingredients below to find which are most helpful for you, and check with your doctor before making any changes to your health and wellness routine.
DISCLAIMER: The pathogenesis of each person's condition is unique, and so the diet must be fit to the individual and the unique root causes of the condition in your body.
The information on this page is for educational purposes only and should not be used to treat a medical condition. It is not a substitute for medical care.
Please check with your doctor before making any changes to your health and wellness routine.
HOW DOES AYURVEDA HEAL 'DRY MOUTH / TONGUE'?
AVOID DIETS, LIFESTYLES & HERBS THAT AGGRAVATE THESE EFFECTS
According to Ayurveda, one or more of the following
and biocharacteristics may aggravate 'Dry Mouth / Tongue'.
If you have an excess of one of these doshas or biocharacteristics below, Ayurveda recommends reducing foods and lifestyle habits that aggravate them.
Click on the biocharacteristic to learn what foods and
lifestyle habits should be reduced.
Symptoms Tell A Story
The first step to healing is learning patterns from your symptoms.
Symptoms are clues that reveal underlying imbalances.
Symptoms show you where your body is weakened.
Ultimately, all disease has a root in tissues too weak to defend itself.
Ayurveda describes these patterns of weakness using doshas & biocharacteristics.
If you notice a biocharacteristic or dosha appears next to many of your symptoms,
it helps you establish a pattern that may be systemic.
FAVOR DIETS, LIFESTYLES & HERBS WITH THESE MEDICINAL EFFECTS
Everything you eat has an effect on your body, which Ayurveda categorizes in a simple and easy way, using biocharacteristics (gunas).
Biocharacteristics are qualities (like cold and hot) that describe the effect a food or herb has on your body.
Cooling foods like cucumber, decrease metabolism.
Heating foods like chili pepper, stimulate your body and increase metabolism.
For 'Dry Mouth / Tongue', you should select foods with the following biocharacteristics.
Individual results will vary, based on your body type and the root cause of your imbalance.
FOODS TO FAVOR
CONDITION IN YOUR BODY
ABOUT SALTY BIOCHARACTERISTIC
Salty refers to anything with salt, or high mineral content.
A sialogogue increases saliva. Sour foods are often great sialogogues, and increase output of all exocrine glands. Salty taste is very moistening as well. Bitter, pungent and sweettastes also increase salivary output but to a
lesser degree. Astringents
DRY MOUTH / TONGUE IS IN STAGE OF DISEASE 1 - AFFECTING DIGESTION
If you have symptoms in this category, your body is sending you a warning sign.
Since digestion is so metabolically intensive and sensitive to stress and emotions, the earliest warning signs of imbalance usually appear in the digestive tract first.
You may have gas and bloating, for example, or acid reflux.
Ayurveda recommends paying careful, close attention to warning signs.
They indicate that an imbalance is starting to accumulate.
Correct these warning signs before they accumulate further and weaken your body's resistance.
This is usually accomplished by removing diet and lifestyle habits that aggravate your imbalanced doshas and biocharacteristics.
REDUCE THESE RELATED SYMPTOMS & HABITS
The following symptoms & habits may be related to 'Dry Mouth / Tongue'.
See your quiz results for a computerized assessment of your body type.
Please click on the symptoms below to learn more about them.
Biocharacteristics of the 11,458 People Reporting Dry Mouth / Tongue
On average the biocharacteristics
of people reporting Dry Mouth / Tongue were more aggravated than 54% of other symptoms.
From the 11,458 people who reported Dry Mouth / Tongue in this research study of 74,671 individuals,
average deviation in biocharacteristic levels were the following:
Ayurveda strengthens the body, in addition to addressing the disorder. It take a holistic,
systemic approach, instead of focusing only on the disorder in question. Ayurveda
shows a person how to interpret signs and symptoms of imbalance, and how to address them
using materials from home, so they can optimize their health on a continual basis. You can't
take the doctor home with you, but you can take Ayurveda home with you.
Ayurveda is the most advanced and easy to use home system for self healing with an
exceptional focus on digestion.
HOW DOES AYURVEDA WORK?
Ayurveda starts by identifying your body type,
which identifies certain tendencies in your body to get sick (as well as identifying your strengths).
It uses body type to determine the likely root causes of your disorders.
Next, Ayurveda analyzes the nature of your disorder.
It fits all your signs and symptoms into a pattern, expressed as a combination of biocharaceristics (gunas).
For example, you may have a heat disorder, a cold disorder, or an oily disorder, etc.
This simple categorical approach shows you how to correct systemic imbalances and strengthen your body as a whole.
On Joyful Belly, we've created an extensive categorization of food so you can easily match food to your imbalanced biocharacteristics.
By eating an optimal diet that balances your biocharacteristics, your whole body is strengthened
and the conditions that created the disorder are removed. Once the root causes of the disease
are removed, the disease lessens in strength or disappears altogether. Additional remedies -
such as herbs and lifestyle practices - focused on the specific disorder, can greatly enhance
To get started on your Ayurvedic journey, we first recommend that your find your body
type by taking our free quiz. In Ayurveda, every solution is based on your unique body type, so
by taking this quiz, you’ll get the best results.
John Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a
healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda.
His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful.
John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda
, which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition.
John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.
John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia.
John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion.
John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing.
In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots,
and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church.
Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick.
That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.
My mother has burning in her mouth and it has escalated to her feet. It has been diagnosed as thrush. She found that a multiple vitamin helped somewhat. She believes it is due to sugar. She likes icecream a lot! She avoids the obvious hot foods i.e., ginger, chilli's etc. She takes coumadin and high blood pressure meds. I thinks she should stop sugar completely with the acception of fruits. What fruits are hot and cold? Have you heard of burning mouth syndfrom?