Dry mouth is also known as xerostomia. It’s a condition that happens when salivary glands in your mouth don’t produce enough saliva. It causes a parched, or dry, feeling in your mouth. It can also cause other symptoms, such as rough tongue, mouth... Read More
Dry mouth is also known as xerostomia. It’s a condition that happens when
salivary glands in your mouth don’t produce enough saliva. It causes a parched,
or dry, feeling in your mouth. It can also cause other symptoms, such as rough
tongue, mouth sores, and cracked lips.
Saliva is a necessary part of your digestion process. It helps moisten and
break down food. It also works as a major defense mechanism to help your body
maintain good dental health, protecting your mouth against gum disease and
Dry mouth isn’t a serious medical condition on its own. But it’s sometimes a
symptom of another underlying medical problem that requires treatment. It can
also lead to complications, such as tooth decay.
causes dry mouth?
Many things can cause dry mouth. It often results from dehydration. Some
diseases, such as diabetes, can also affect your saliva production and lead to
dry mouth. Certain medications and supplements, such as appetite suppressants
and chemotherapy drugs, can also cause dry mouth.
Some of the other causes of dry mouth include:
- smoking tobacco
- using marijuana
- taking tranquilizers
- undergoing radiation therapy on your head or neck
- some autoimmune disorders, such as
rheumatoid arthritis or Sjogren's syndrome
- botulism poisoning
How is dry mouth treated?
Dry mouth is usually a temporary and treatable condition. In most cases, you
can prevent and relieve symptoms of dry mouth by doing one or more of the
- sipping water often
- sucking on ice cubes
- avoiding alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco
- limiting your salt and sugar intake
- using a humidifier in your bedroom when you sleep
- taking over-the-counter saliva substitutes
- chewing sugarless gum or sucking on sugarless hard
- over- the-counter toothpastes, rinses, and mints
If your dry mouth is caused
by an underlying health condition, you may require additional treatment. Ask
your doctor for more information about your specific condition, treatment
options, and long-term outlook.