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Home > Health Library > Dry Mouth
Dry mouth, or xerostomia (say "zee-ruh-STO-mee-uh"), occurs when your mouth doesn't make enough saliva. Saliva helps you chew, swallow, and digest your food. It also neutralizes the acids that form in your mouth. Over time, dry mouth can lead to dental problems.
Dry mouth is most often a side effect of medicine. Some medicines that can cause dry mouth include diuretics, antihistamines, and decongestants. Other possible causes include dehydration, breathing through your mouth, stress or anxiety, smoking, and problems with how the salivary glands work. Low saliva production is common as you age. It's also common with many health conditions, such as Sjögren's syndrome, or with treatments, such as cancer treatments.
If medicine is causing dry mouth, your doctor may change the type or dose of the medicine.
Home treatment may help relieve symptoms of a dry mouth.
Water is best.
Items such as sugar-free gum or candy will help keep your mouth moist without promoting tooth decay.
Tart food and liquids such as sugar-free lemonade, sugar-free sour candies, or dill pickles can help stimulate the flow of saliva.
A dry mouth is common and can often be prevented. Try some of the following prevention measures.
These include diuretics, antihistamines, and decongestants. Your doctor can help you find a different medicine.
These can increase dryness in your mouth.
Current as of:
June 30, 2021
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency MedicineAdam Husney MD - Family MedicineMartin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Current as of: June 30, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
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