Mouth Noises, Yuck!

That wet, sticky sound. 😖

You hear it every time they open their mouth to speak. The microphone picks it up so clearly that you lose track of what they are saying. It’s distracting. It’s gross. To me, it’s like nails on a chalkboard. These are professional podcast producers and radio hosts. Don’t they know it’s happening? Why don’t they do something about it?

Imagine my horror when I listened to one of my early podcast recordings and heard this sound coming from my own mouth! 😱

I spent weeks researching trying to figure out what caused this and how to fix it.

Believe it or not, that “wet” sound is actually caused by dry mouth. When your mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva, you actually end up with thicker residue that causes that sticky sound. It reminds me of the sound a glue stick makes as you raise it off of the paper.

Combatting dry mouth

It’s not as easy as drinking a glass of water before turning on the microphone. Drinking water at this moment actually makes it worse because your body gets the signal that your mouth is hydrated and it can slow the production of saliva even more.

Here are a few tips:

Stay hydrated all day – Drinking plenty of water everyday will help with the production of saliva. Not only will this reduce mouth noise in your recordings, but will aid in other areas like protecting your mouth from bacteria leading to healthier teeth and gums.

Trick your mouth into producing more saliva – Sometimes you just have to give the system a jumpstart. Try these tricks:

  • Chew gum. I find strong mint gum like Wrigley’s Extra get the job done. I’ll pop a piece five to ten minutes prior to every recording. I imagine a minty or tart candy will have a similar effect.
  • Brush your teeth, cheeks, and tongue. This gets out the old thick saliva while the mint toothpaste encourages the production of new saliva.
  • Sip a tart drink. Have you ever put a piece of sour candy in your mouth? What happens immediately after that initial pucker reflex? Yep, your mouth starts watering. Something similar happens when we sip tart or sour drinks. My go-to is orange Gatorade. Try lemonade or OJ. Stay away from carbonated beverages or you’ll end up with a completely different mouth noise in your recordings.

What to do when your guest has dry mouth

Always keep a pack of gum with you and offer them a stick. Instead of telling them their mouth is making disgusting sounds that are getting picked up by the mic, tell them something like, it helps lubricate their mouth and relax their tongue and jaw for the interview. It’s true!

Have you conquered mouth noises?

Leave your tips in the comments section below!

Starting a Podcast in the New Year?

Join us at one of our upcoming Podcast Workshops. The next stops are Atlanta and Philadelphia!

PodAbility Atlanta, January 2017

PodAbility Philadelphia, February 2017