Everyone has a dry mouth once in a while — if they are nervous, upset, or under stress.
But if you have a dry mouth all or most of the time, it can be uncomfortable and can lead to serious health problems.
A dry mouth is rarely a sign of anything serious. There are things you can do to help ease it yourself. See a dentist if these don’t work or you also have other symptoms.
Dry mouth is the condition of not having enough saliva, or spit, to keep your mouth wet.
Dry mouth is caused when the salivary glands in the mouth don’t make enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. These glands may not work properly as the result of:
Hundreds of medications, including many over-the-counter drugs, produce dry mouth as a side effect. Among the more likely types to cause problems are some of the drugs used to treat depression, high blood pressure, and anxiety, as well as some antihistamines, decongestants, muscle relaxants, and pain medications.
Many older people experience dry mouth as they age. Contributing factors include the use of certain medications, changes in the body’s ability to process medication, inadequate nutrition, and having long-term health problems.
Chemotherapy drugs can change the nature of saliva and the amount produced. This may be temporary, with normal salivary flow returning after treatment is completed. Radiation treatments to your head and neck can damage salivary glands, causing a marked decrease in saliva production. This may be temporary or permanent, depending on the radiation dose and the area treated.
An injury or surgery that causes nerve damage to your head and neck area can result in dry mouth.
Dry mouth can be due to certain health conditions, such as diabetes, stroke, yeast infection (thrush) in your mouth or Alzheimer’s disease, or due to autoimmune diseases, such as Sjogren’s syndrome or HIV/AIDS. Snoring and breathing with your mouth open also can contribute to dry mouth.
Drinking alcohol and smoking or chewing tobacco can increase dry mouth symptoms.
Methamphetamine use can cause severe dry mouth and damage to teeth, a condition also known as “meth mouth.
How to help ease a dry mouth yourself
Baytowngentledental recommends following these tips
to help ease a dry mouth yourself:
you’re more likely to get tooth decay if you have a dry mouth.