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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:
|Primary Medical Reviewer||William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||David Messenger, MD|
|Last Revised||July 20, 2012|
Last Revised: July 20, 2012
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & David Messenger, MD
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