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What do I do when ...

My mouth goes dry?


February 14, 2013
By Christine K. Jahnke

My mouth goes dry?

Cotton mouth is never pleasant. Senator Marco Rubio can attest to that. In the midst of his nationally televised response to the President’s State of the Union address his parched throat led to an embarrassing attempt to hydrate himself. With a deer in the headlights look on his face, he desperately reached for a plastic water bottle and hurriedly gulped.

Here’s what to do:

  1.  Be well-hydrated well in advance.   Drinking plenty of water is good for your health and good for your vocal cords.  Eights glasses are recommended daily. 
  2.  Avoid ice water.  Room temperature relaxes the vocal cords.
  3. Don’t panic if you need to take a sip.  This is normal behavior.  If you don’t make it a big deal most people won’t even notice.
  4. At a natural pause point – a transition, change of slide, or audience question – simply pause, look down, take a sip, and continue talking.  No need to rush.
  5. Drink from a glass rather than a plastic bottle.
  6. Put a small piece of a throat lozenge in the back of your mouth between the cheek and gum.  It will trigger natural salivation.
  7. For extreme dry mouth, artificial saliva products are available over the counter.

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