Dry mouth sucks! Dry fasting is the most intense fast out of all of the fasting modalities. One of the things that set dry fasting apart from every other type of fasts is the absence of water.
In this type of fast not only do you abstain from food, but you also abstain from water and liquids of any kind. Because of this one of the underlying effects of dry fasting is dry mouth. Dry mouth is experienced in other fasts as well. The medical term for dry mouth is Xerostomia. However, it’s intensified in dry fasts.
What is dry fasting?
Dry fasting is a type of fasting where individuals abstain from both food and water for a certain period. Unlike traditional fasting, which restricts food intake, or water fasting, which restricts water intake, dry fasting requires the body to rely on its internal water reserves and metabolic reactions for energy.
With roots dating back to ancient times for religious and spiritual purposes, dry fasting has potential health benefits such as reducing inflammation, improving metabolic health, and increasing longevity.
However, the risks, including dehydration, kidney stones, and urinary tract infections are there if you don't approach it correctly. Dry fasting durations vary, with some people opting for 24-hour fasts while others choose longer periods. It is crucial to stay hydrated before and after dry fasting and to consult with a medical professional beforehand, especially if one has underlying health conditions.
When done properly, dry fasting can contribute to overall physical and mental well-being. It is the strongest type of fasting available, and some healing mechanisms can only occur while dry fasting. A 7-day dry fast is comparable to a 21-day water fast.
What is dry mouth and why do we get it during a dry fast?
This is an unwelcome side effect that is almost unavoidable in dry fasting. When we stop taking food our bodies stop producing saliva. Saliva helps to clean our mouths and remove bacteria. The mode of function of our tongue changes from producing saliva to becoming a way for our bodies to expel toxins from their system.
A white coating will develop around the tongue as one of the main ways of expelling toxins that have been neutralized by the body. The tongue also serves as a secondary purpose of being aware of how hydrated or dehydrated our bodies are. And the white coating surrounding the tongue serves another purpose as well. It acts as sort of a regeneration blanket. like a caterpillar in a cocoon metamorphosing into a beautiful little butterfly.
The coating helps restore our taste buds and the sensitivity of the tongue as it’s being recalibrated and becoming synchronized in its function.The more dehydrated our bodies the more sticky the white coating becomes.
Although, our bodies stop producing saliva it doesn’t mean our tongue becomes completely dry. Because the tongue is reflecting the level of hydration in our bodies. So, in a dry fast, your mouth may tend to be drier than in any other fast because that is the main purpose of dry fasting. Which is to allow ourselves to slowly dehydrate to lower levels.
Of course, the main reason for experiencing dry mouth in a dry fast is because we are no longer taking water into our bodies and we’re allowing our body to produce its own water endogenously which is of a high-quality kind. We may experience dry mouth to varying degrees in dry fasts.
How long will I have a dry mouth during the dry fast?
We will experience dry mouth in dry fasts almost the entire time since we are not taking water. The longer we go dry fasting as the number of days increases the more intense the sensations of dry mouth will become. This is normal and should be expected. And the different modes of dry fasting, soft and hard will differ as well. We will experience stronger sensations of dry mouth in a hard dry fast than in a soft dry fast.
4 main reasons for dry mouth during a dry fast
There are four main reasons for the intensifying effects of dry mouth in a dry fast.
- The more toxins being released in a detox crisis tends to cause stronger sensations of dry mouth during dry fasts. When our bodies aren’t expelling any waste then our system will be more stabilized in its hydration levels during dry fasts and the less we experience dry mouth. But, anytime a crisis appears from detoxification then the sensations of the dry mouth become stronger. This is because our bodily resources are being concentrated on removing or neutralizing the chemical substances in our bodies and are less focused on producing high-quality water. And that water our bodies produce is used to a certain degree to expel waste
- The same is also true when we are sleeping while dry fasting. We will tend to dehydrate more while sleeping and experience the driest our mouths can become during a dry fast as our system changes its focus from being active and producing water to being passive as it focuses on healing and repairing us. As soon as we wake up and put our bodies in motion our system begins to hydrate itself.
- The third reason we can experience intense dry mouth is simply that we are moving too much. We are burning energy too fast. Dry fasting tends to slow us down. But, if we move faster than the pace at which our bodies are producing resources then we can overheat as our hydration levels fall lower and the intense symptoms of dry mouth increase. Our tongues can become very sticky where it sticks to the inside of our mouths, the roof, and the sides of our mouths. These are symptoms of dangerously low levels of hydration. And we should stop what we are doing and allow our system to cool down and our bodies to catch up in producing water.
- The fourth and final reason why we can experience intense sensations of dry mouth is our environment. In a hot or warm environment, it will be more difficult to dry fast and we will experience stronger sensations of dry mouth. And hotter climates tend to cause our bodies to use energy faster. Ideally, you want to be in a cool or cold environment when dry fasting. Cooler environments slow down the consumption of water in our bodies allowing our system to be more stabilized in its hydration levels and prevent our bodies from overheating. And we lessen the intensity of dry mouth during a dry fast.
What to do for dry mouth while fasting?
Although, we cannot completely stop the effects of dry mouth during a dry fast. We can lessen its effect and intensity at which we experience it. In addition to a few things already mentioned earlier that we can do to lessen the effects of dry mouth such as staying in a cool environment.
- Don’t move around too much doing things if possible, try to relax and minimize your movements.
- In a soft dry fast, you can do mouth water rinses without swallowing the water by just swigging water around the mouth to hydrate the inside of your mouth and then spit. Though this is temporary and will last 30mins at the most beforethe mouth becomes dry again. Do mouth water rinses with cool water as necessary when the sensations of dry mouth have become unbearable. Otherwise, you should allow yourself to become familiar with the normal sensation of dry mouth which is regulated at a normal stabilized level and not experiencing overbearing sensations.
- Another way to lessen the intensity of dry mouth is to eat hydrating foods before the fasts. Preferably a few days to a few weeks before dry fasting you should eat more hydrating foods like fruits and vegetables and stay away from dry and dehydrated foods as much as possible.
- And a few days of water fasting before dry fasting will do a lot of good as well. Really, anything that will help you detox some of the toxins out of your body before dry fasting can lessen the intensity of dry mouth.
Does fasting cause dry lips?
Not only do we experience dry mouth during dry fasting, but facing can cause dry lips by making our lips dry as well. This is also quite normal and should be expected. The longer we dry fast as the number of days increases the drier our lips will tend to become.
Though, we are experiencing these unpleasant side effects. They are also serving a purpose that after we break fasting our lips will be more soft, regenerated, and healthier looking. The same solution for dry mouth applies to dry lips. When you do your mouth water rinses, simply use some of the water from your mouth to lubricate your lips.You can even take water by hand or keep a small rag with you that’s been wet with water and use it to wipe your lips when they have become overly dry.
Don’t give up
Even though these can be “not so pleasant side effects” in dry fasting. Don’t let this discourage you, the benefits outweigh the negative and you should allow yourself to become comfortable with these temporary sensations knowing they won’t last forever and is a normal part of dry fasting that everyone will experience.