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Can a Humidifier Help With Dry Mouth?

Can a Humidifier Help With Dry Mouth?

Yes, using a warm mist humidifier can help relieve dry mouth symptoms by adding moisture back into the air to stimulate saliva production. The moisture provided by a humidifier helps keep mucous membranes in the mouth and throat hydrated, which soothes irritation.
Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, is a common condition characterized by a lack of saliva. It can occur for many reasons like medications, health problems, aging, and more. Without adequate saliva, you may experience symptoms like a constant dry, sticky feeling in the mouth, trouble chewing and swallowing, bad breath, and an increased risk of cavities. The moisture from a humidifier can provide relief.

What Causes Dry Mouth?

There are a number of potential underlying causes of dry mouth including:
1.Medications – Hundreds of common prescription and over-the-counter medications can reduce saliva production as a side effect. Some examples are antihistamines, decongestants, hypertension medications, antidepressants, and more.
2.Health Conditions – Many diseases are associated with dry mouth including diabetes, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, anxiety disorders, HIV/AIDS, autoimmune disorders like Sjogren’s syndrome, and more.
3.Aging – Saliva production naturally decreases as we get older, putting older adults at increased risk of dry mouth.
4.Radiation Therapy – Cancer treatments that target the head and neck area can damage salivary glands and significantly reduce saliva.
5.Smoking and Tobacco Use – Chemicals in tobacco products can irritate salivary glands.
6.Dehydration – Not drinking enough fluids can cause dry mouth.
Mouth Breathing – Sleeping with your mouth open, which often occurs with nasal congestion or sleep apnea, can dry out the mouth.
7.Nerve Damage – Damage to the nerves that stimulate saliva production can inhibit saliva, like after a stroke.
8.Chemotherapy – Cancer treatment drugs are notorious for causing dry mouth.

How Can a Humidifier Help with Dry Mouth?

While dry mouth needs to be addressed at its root cause, using a humidifier is one way to get temporary relief from annoying symptoms. It can help by:
1.Putting moisture back into the air to keep membranes in the mouth and throat lubricated. Humidifiers increase the relative humidity in the room.
2.Stimulating some saliva production by keeping oral tissues moist.
3.Soothes irritated tissues, helping to minimize burning or tingling sensations.
4.Makes it easier and more comfortable to chew, swallow, and speak.
5.Alleviates cough and sore throat that can occur from dry throat and nasal passages.
6.Reduces risk of further complications like tooth decay and infections.
The American Dental Association recommends the use of a humidifier as one approach to relieve dry mouth and keep the mouth healthier. The cooling mist provides a soothing effect and adds needed moisture to dry environments.
 

2 comments

Jun 20, 2024 • Posted by Asa Edgar

I bought a steam humidifier before, which really improved my dry mouth problem and moistened my mouth. I feel like I need to read more articles to supplement my knowledge.

Jun 20, 2024 • Posted by Baron August

I had dry mouth for a while, and wanted to see if a humidifier could alleviate the problem. After seeing this article, I decisively bought a humidifier. Now my mouth is not so dry anymore. The humidifier is so useful.

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