1. Health
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Why is My Mouth So Dry?

By

Updated June 13, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Question: Why is My Mouth So Dry?

Sticky, pasty, hard to swallow -- if this sounds like how your mouth feels, you may be suffering from a common dental condition.

Answer:

There are many reasons why your mouth is so dry, and all of those reasons generally end up leading to a diagnosis of xerostomia, which really is just the fancy medical term for a dry mouth. And considering you already know that you have a dry mouth, because you noticed the common signs and symptoms of xerostomia occurring, you are likely curious to know what may be causing your xerostomia.

Xerostomia is generally caused by:

  • Chronic mouth breathing

  • Medications used to treat conditions such as high blood pressure, depression, and Parkinson's disease. Many prescribed and over-the-counter list xerostomia as a side effect.

  • Medical treatments and procedures such as bone marrow transplants, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.

  • Diseases and health conditions such as diabetes, HIV/AIDS, Sjögren’s Syndrome, depression, Parkinson's disease, nerve damage, thyroid disease, and dehydration.

  • Tobacco use, including smokeless tobacco products.

  • Injury to nerves in the mouth due to trauma, which may cause a decrease in saliva production.

  • A decrease in the production of saliva due to the natural aging processes.

A visit to your dentist or physician will help you understand why you are suffering from a dry mouth, and in turn, offer you treatment options for xerostomia.

  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Dental Care
  4. Dental Emergencies
  5. Why Is My Mouth So Dry? Causes and Symptoms

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.