Dry Mouth - Causes

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What causes dry mouth?

There are many causes of dry mouth. Dry mouth most commonly occurs as a side effect of medications that cause decrease saliva production, including blood pressure medications, antihistamines, antidepressants, diuretics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, and many others. Other causes of dry mouth are radiation treatments to treat cancerous tumors of the head and neck, salivary gland diseases, diabetes, hormonal imbalance, mouth breathing, sleep apnea, and autoimmune disorders such as Sjögren's syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and systemic lupus erythematosus. Eating disorders, such as bulimia and anorexia, are other risk factors for developing xerostomia. Salivary production can be decreased if a major salivary duct becomes blocked, such as from a stone or infection. Dry mouth will often occur during pregnancy or breastfeeding due to dehydration and hormonal changes. Other causative factors include stress, anxiety, depression, and dehydration.

Return to Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)

See what others are saying

Comment from: Flameondo, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: November 20

I always get dry mouth when I wake up. I wear braces and currently scheduled for jaw surgery next year. My jaw doesn't line up correctly, therefore my mouth stays open slightly (probably opens wider when I'm asleep). I think this is the main cause of my dry mouth. I also take regular paracetamol which I've heard can cause dry mouth if you take them before going to bed.

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Comment from: trish, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 04

I have alpha 1 antitrypsin deficiency and take lots of inhalers. I have dry eyes and an extremely dry mouth. I have trouble talking and sometimes when I go to swallow nothing happens. Other times I have so much saliva that I feel like I am drowning on it all. When I go to swallow saliva at night I have to cough as I feel that it sticks in my throat.

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