I Am Feeling Dry Mouth

I Am Feeling Dry Mouth

Dry Mouth Symptoms:

  • Thick or stringy saliva
  • Rough, dry tongue
  • Tongue sticking against the roof of the mouth, lips, or cheeks sticking to gums
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing, especially dry foods
  • Bad breath
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Dry and cracked lips
  • Susceptibility to oral thrush infections
  • High rate of tooth decay
  • Prickly, burning sensation in the mouth
  • Loose acrylic dentures due to reduced saliva aiding suction

Related Symptoms:

  • Dry and itchy eyes
  • Dry nose or throat
  • Frequent coughing
  • Reduced sense of smell
  • Constipation
  • Joint pains or stiffness
  • General feeling of being unwell
  • Interrupted or poor-quality sleep
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • In women, frequent vaginal thrush infections



Causes of Dry Mouth

  • Various factors, both short-term and long-term, can disrupt saliva production, including:
    • Drugs and medications: Approximately 600 drugs and medications, legal and illegal, can lead to dry mouth. Examples include antihistamines, high blood pressure medications, sedatives, decongestants, analgesics, antidepressants, and illicit substances like cocaine.
    • Infections: Bacterial or viral infections of the salivary glands, such as mumps, can cause inflammation and restrict saliva production.
    • Sjogren’s syndrome: An autoimmune disease primarily affecting the eyes and salivary glands, but can also involve the sweat glands.
    • Salivary duct blockages: Tiny stones made from saliva minerals can lodge in the salivary ducts, impeding saliva flow.
    • Certain medical conditions: AIDS, amyloidosis, cerebral palsy, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, primary biliary cirrhosis, and lupus can contribute to dry mouth.
    • Nerve problems: Damage or injury to facial nerves controlling salivary gland function can reduce saliva production.
    • Some cancer treatments: Chemotherapy or radiation therapy targeting the head or neck area may temporarily reduce salivary gland function.
    • Other causes: Mouth breathing due to persistent nasal congestion, hormone changes from pregnancy or menopause, and dehydration from insufficient fluid intake can also lead to dry mouth.

Treatment of Dry Mouth:

  • Treatment strategies vary based on the underlying cause and may include:
    • Adjustments to medications: Healthcare providers may modify dosages or prescribe alternative medications if dry mouth is a side effect.
    • Saliva substitutes: Artificial saliva substitutes can be prescribed by doctors or dentists and should be used as directed.
    • Dry mouth products: These include toothpaste, mouthwash, gums, and topical gels containing lubricants to alleviate dry mouth symptoms. Dentists can offer recommendations.
    • Dental products: Products with high fluoride or calcium content can help prevent tooth decay. Dentists can provide guidance on suitable options.
    • Antibiotics and antifungal drugs: These medications may be necessary to treat underlying infections contributing to dry mouth.
    • Surgery: Minor surgical procedures may be required to address salivary gland blockages, such as the removal of stones.
    • Additional treatments: Management of underlying conditions like Sjogren’s syndrome or diabetes requires appropriate medical interventions.

Dry mouth affects about 10% of the general population and 25% of older individuals, often indicating an underlying issue rather than a standalone condition. Causes include various health conditions and habits like anxiety, HIV, snoring, and certain medications. Symptoms range from thick saliva to mouth ulcers and can extend to dry eyes, joint pains, and weight loss. Treatment involves lifestyle changes, saliva substitutes, and addressing underlying causes such as medication adjustments or surgery for salivary gland blockages. Consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and management.



Salivary gland disorders , American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery.


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