Is “Dry Mouth” A Voice Over Show Stopper?

By Susan Berkley

Dry Mouth

A subscriber writes: “I’m getting ready to start my voice over career but I take a medication for migraines that causes dry mouth and without water I can barely speak a few lines without having to take a sip.

Is dry mouth a show stopper?

Susan Berkley: “It’s easy to forget the link between the sound of your voice and your overall physical health. After all, it’s just speaking, right?

But we are body, mind and spirit and even something we take for granted, such as the amount of saliva our body naturally produces, can have a profound effect on our ability to perform our voice over art.

Dancers need to take extra care about the health of their feet, baseball players need to nurture their pitching arm, and we need to be especially vigilant about the health of our mouth.

Something as simple as a little canker sore can affect your ability to speak smoothly and teeth and gum problems can cause a whistling’s or other dental sounds that the microphone picks up.

We’ve all experienced dry mouth at one time or another. and it certainly is annoying. Sometimes it’s because we’re dehydrated. I always drink a couple of big glasses of water with some lemon squeezed in first thing in the morning and try to remember to sip water throughout the day. It takes about two hours for the water we drink to reach our vocal folds so it’s best to keep yourself consistently hydrated. Coffee and black tea are especially dehydrating, so the more coffee you drink, the more you’ll need to compensate.

More commonly, dry mouth is caused by stress. Your mouth feels like cotton and your tongue feels as if it could stick to the roof of your mouth. As we relax, our saliva flow quickly returns to normal.

Dry mouth is also a common side effect of many medications. The first thing I would do is ask your doctor or pharmacist if there is another medication you can try to see if the dry mouth gets better. There are also certain mouth sprays which help, like Salivart a synthetic saliva sold at the pharmacy. Its available over the counter and you may want to try it..

But allow me to be so bold as to suggest you are not doomed to suffer from those migraines for the rest of your life. I am not a doctor so what I am about to say is completely my opinion based on personal experience and research, but stress makes migraines worse and I know people who have been able to stop taking their medication altogether and regain their health by treating the underlying cause of the problem.

Dr. Claudia b Pacheco, is the head of the department of psychosomatic medicine at Dr. Norberto Keppe’s Society of Integral Psychoanalysis (Analytical Trilogy) in Sao Paulo Brazil. In her book Keeping an Eye on Your Health she wrtes:l”There are many treatments like yoga, exercise and meditation which help manage stress. But do they actually help? Of course, if practiced in a balanced manner. However, they are generally not enough because the most important factor that triggers the process of stress can be found in our psychological life. And since this is something many medical modalities don’t consider, the person’s values, philosophy of life, feelings and emotions must be considered and analyzed to get to the root of the problem.

If you’d like to explore this further and learn about a therapeutic self study program that can help reduce stress and improve your overall physical and emotional health, I suggest checking out my friend Rich Jones’ website Healing Through Consciousness

Here’s to your good health and your voice over success!

Copyright 2011, The Great Voice Company. All Rights Reserved.

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Susan Berkley is a top voice over artist and founder of The Great Voice Company, a company devoted to teaching great voices around the world how to become successful voice over actors. The Great Voice Company is an international leader in voice over training and in providing top quality voice over recordings in all languages to discerning businesses and marketers. For additional information visit

Copyright 2011, The Great Voice Company. All Rights Reserved. Is “Dry Mouth” A Voice Over Show Stopper?