Certain foods stimulate salivary gland’s function and as a result, increase salivation. They are called “sialogogue foods”. In contrast, other foods can cause dry mouth and worsen the problem.
If you suffer from xerostomia, it is important to know which foods improve or aggravate your dry mouth.
Here are several saliva stimulating foods that may surprise you.
They are not miracle foods, but their effects are noticeable, especially in cases of partial xerostomia when the salivary glands are still somewhat active.
An apple is one of the best foods for dry mouth. Slightly acidic, with high water content, apples stimulate the activity of the salivary glands and moisturize the mouth.
Chewing an apple increases salivation and cleans teeth and gums.
Drinking apple juice also stimulates saliva production.
Apple cider vinegar is also used in many home remedies for dry mouth. You can use this vinegar as a mouthwash; it freshens your breath and moisturizes your mouth. For this remedy, put a tablespoon of the vinegar in a glass of water and rinse your mouth several times.
As in the case of lemons, it is important to note that apples contain acid that may damage the tooth enamel. After eating an apple, it is recommended that you rinse your mouth with water or milk to balance the pH of the mouth.
The particular bitter taste of endive activates the functioning of the salivary glands, increasing the flow of saliva. Furthermore, this vegetable can be prepared in a thousand ways: you can eat it raw, baked, boiled, or seasoned in a salad.
3) Hard cheese
Did you know that the strong flavor of cured cheeses increases the flow of saliva?
In addition, cheese helps remineralize teeth because it contains calcium, phosphate, and casein, a milk protein that protects teeth against demineralization.
And if this is not enough, cheese also counteracts the acidity of saliva. If you have eaten carbohydrates which acidify the mouth, it can be a good idea to finish the meal with a piece of cheese.
4) Carrots, celery and other “chewable” foods
Did you know that foods requiring vigorous chewing also stimulate salivation?
Chewing raw carrots, celery, cucumber, or apple may help you produce more saliva.
In addition, these foods contain a lot of water (e.g. celery and cucumber are 95% water, carrots almost 90%) and help keep the mouth hydrated.
5) Citrus… with caution
Lemon, orange, grapefruit, kiwi, and generally all citrus increase the amount of saliva in the mouth by stimulating the activity of the salivary glands. However, on the negative side and as we have stated so many times before, these foods acidify the saliva and this may damage the tooth enamel which results in the development of cavities.
As we said at the beginning about eating apples, it is recommended that you drink a glass of milk or rinse your mouth with water to balance the pH of the mouth after eating citrus.
6) Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is a great remedy to improve dry mouth. It stimulates both the salivary glands and taste buds. It can be used in soups, pasta, stews, salads, and other dishes.
You can also put a little (very little!) amount of pepper on the tongue. This is not recommended for people who cannot stand the heat.
Certain spices are also very effective in stimulating the flow of saliva and improving dry mouth.
Ginger. Slowly chew a small piece of fresh ginger several times a day or drink ginger tea. These are the remedies I use most often, and they work the best for my dry mouth.
Fennel. Drinking fennel tea or chewing fennel seeds.
Cardamom. Like fennel, you can drink cardamom tea or chew a cardamon seed. Although chewing cardamom seeds actually increases salivation, it make my teeth hurt. I really dislike the rough woody texture of these seeds.