Dry mouth (xerostomia) may make it hard for you to eat, talk,
swallow, wear dentures, or taste food. In most cases, home treatment will
relieve symptoms of a dry mouth. An ongoing dry mouth can lead to mouth
infections, gum disease, and dental cavities.
Some causes of dry mouth include
dehydration, breathing through your mouth, stress or
anxiety, smoking, and problems with how the
salivary glands work, so you make less saliva. Low saliva production is common as you age. It also is common with many health conditions, such as Sjögren's syndrome, or with treatments, such as cancer treatments.
A dry mouth can also be caused by a medicine, such as a diuretic,
an antihistamine, or a decongestant. If you suspect that a medicine is the cause of
your dry mouth, call the doctor who prescribed the medicine to
determine whether you should stop taking it or take a different one. An
appointment may not be necessary. If you are taking a nonprescription
medicine, stop taking it. Call your doctor if you feel that you need
to continue the medicine.
Home treatment may help relieve symptoms of a dry mouth.
A dry mouth is common and can often be prevented. Try some
of the following prevention measures:
July 20, 2012
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
& David Messenger, MD
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