What is Dry Mouth?
Dry mouth, also called xerostomia, is a common concern that affects roughly 1 in 5 adults.
Dryness occurs when your body doesn’t produce enough saliva. It is most common in those who take multiple medications, but can also be caused by various diseases and medical treatments.
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Common Causes of Dry Mouth
Up to 600 medications are known to cause dryness of the mouth & throat
For example drugs used to treat depression, high blood pressure and anxiety, some antihistamines, decongestants, muscle relaxants and pain medications
Chemotherapy drugs can change the nature of saliva and the amount produced while some radiation treatments can damage salivary glands
Tobacco and Alcohol
Drinking alcohol, smoking or chewing tobacco can increase dry mouth symptoms, not only immediately after use but also throughout the day
An injury or surgery that causes nerve damage to the head and neck area can result in dry mouth
Saliva production can reduce as you grow older
80% of Australians are dehydrated every single day and may not be aware of it
Sleep Apnea and Snoring
Snoring and breathing with your mouth open also can contribute to dry mouth
Dry mouth can be caused by health conditions such as diabetes, stroke, yeast infection (thrush) in your mouth or Alzheimer’s disease
Similarly autoimmune diseases, including Sjogren’s syndrome or HIV/AIDS are also known to cause dry mouth
Difficulty speaking, chewing, and swallowing where there is not enough saliva to keep the mouth moist