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Pasties and Doughmouth : 25 Facts About Dry Mouth

Special Reprint for 2019 National World Voice Day

Today is World Voice Day

It seems like a lifetime ago when I was working from my home studio as a voiceover, but on World Voice day this year, it feels just like yesterday. 

A lot of what voiceovers, singers, and public speakers do to keep their voices "top notch" are relevant to everyone, and with so many of my friends and family suffering ailments that lead to voice degradation, I thought it may be a good time to raise this post up from "the old days".

I wrote this piece on my voiceover blog in 2011. Even now, I seldom lose my speaking voice, even though I abuse it more with sugars and caffeine. 

And, don't ask. Although I do sing, nobody will tell you that I CAN sing. 


Pasties and Doughmouth : 25 Facts About Sticky Audio

Some people don't hear it, but for those who have been working with audio that do, sticky audio is a D-i-s-a-s-t-e-r !  <----Do you see the Capital D?

I'm writing about Mouth Noise, that infamous sound of Macaroni and Cheese being stirred that shows up in audio.  I know sound engineers have nightmares about this affliction and anyone who has worked in front of a microphone dreads hearing the sounds of it through their monitors.

According to many Voiceover Professionals, It is a sound that comes from lack of hydration and can be cured with water, temporarily put to rest with green apples, and prevented by an avoidance of caffeine and dairy products.

But, what happens when it persists? What can it mean? What can be done?

Here are some facts about Sticky Audio that you may want to know:

  • The medical term for Dry Mouth, is Xerostomia. This is a symptom where saliva count is low or thick.
  • Xerostomia can be a symptom of an underlying condition, such as:
    • Depression
    • Anxiety/Stress Disorder
    • Nutritional Deficiency
    • Endocrine Disorders
    • Sjogren's Syndrome
  • Dry mouth can occur due to effects of medications, such as those used for Blood Pressure Control, Depression, Head Colds, and Water Retention, among others.
  • Cancer patients that have had radiation treatments, may have temporary symptoms of Xerostomia. In some cases, the damage to the salivary glands is permanent.
  • Nerve damage from head or neck trauma could effect the salvary response.

Foods and Beverages to Avoid if Mouth Noise is persistent:

  • Caffeinated beverages and foods, such as Coffee, Tea, Soda, and Chocolate
  • Alcoholic beverages, including mouthwashes with alcohol content
  • Raw vegetables
  • Tough meats
  • Muffins, Cakes, Breads, and Cookies - This is where the term "Doughmouth" comes from. Sugary comforts are noisy most everywhere in the body, including the mouth. 

Foods and Beverages that may prove beneficial:

  • 100% Pure Papaya Juice, taken in small sips may help break down thick saliva.
  • Warm caffeine-free tea, taken in small sips
  • Hard Cheese
  • Sucralose

Careful Preparations of your Food can Help:

  • Suck on frozen fruit, especially fruit with a high water content
  • When preparing a cooked meal, allow your foods to get to room temperature before eating. Avoid hot foods.
  • Add broth, gravy or milk to your food and mash with a blender if desired.
  • Take small bites and chew your food completely. This allows your salivary glands to trigger more moisture for digestion.

Water 

  • Sucking (not chewing) on ice chips not only aids in hydration, but triggers salivary glands.
  • Drink 8+ cups of water each day. Small sips at room temperature drunk throughout the day is best. 
  • Rinse your mouth with room temperature water before and after each meal or snack. 
  • Spraying the inside of your mouth with water mixed with Glycerin. The ratio of mixture should be 1 part Glycerin to 4 parts distilled water.

Dental Care

  • Along with damaging perfectly delivered audio with noise, persistent dry mouth can do serious damage to your teeth, your breath, your dietary habits and your vocal chords. It can also lead to mouth infections.
  • Dry mouth can improve with cleanings
  • Your hygienist can advise you on remedies specific to your needs.you.

Some over-the-counter relief

  • Biotene®  has a full line of products available for those suffering with dry mouth, including: Toothpaste, Mouthwash, Mouth lubricant, Gum (with Xylitol), and Spray
  • Entertainer's Secret Throat Spray
  • There are saliva stimulators also on the market, but it is important to me that I don't advise irresponsibly.  

The most important thing to do if your dry mouth lasts more than 3 days is to see a Doctor or Physician.

Bilbliography:

"Dry Mouth and Thick Saliva." Caring For Cancer n. pag. Web. 31 Jan 2011. <http://www.caring4cancer.com/go/cancer/nutrition/symptom-support/dry-mouth-and-thick-saliva.htm>. 
"Xerostomia (Dry Mouth)." n. pag. Web. 31 Jan 2011. <http://www.uic.edu/classes/peri/peri343/xerost/xerost1.htm>. 


World Voice Day was created in celebration of our voices. The irony that it lands on Charlie Chaplin's birthday serves to add a smile and a wink to the day. 

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