dry mouth

What Causes Dry Mouth

Bad Dental Habits Aren’t Always To Blame

Does your mouth frequently feel parched? Do you have a constant dry mouth, sore throat, hoarseness, cracked lips or dry nasal passageways? Perhaps you even have chronic bad breath, a metallic taste in your mouth or difficulty swallowing or talking. These symptoms are often complaints about those suffering from xerostomia, more commonly known as dry mouth.

Dry mouth occurs when salivary glands in the mouth do not produce enough saliva. The saliva in your mouth serves an important purpose –preventing tooth decay and gum disease. Not only does saliva wash away food particles from your teeth and limit bacteria growth, it also neutralizes acids produced by bacteria and aids in swallowing and food digestion.

Many people experience dry mouth from time to time, but persistent dry mouth problems are worth checking out. Dry mouth is not a disease but a symptom of another issue going on. Prolong dry mouth that goes untreated can cause several oral health issues, including tooth decay and cavities. Dr. Anthony Marra, a Huntersville dentist, shares nine common reasons people suffer from dry mouth.

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Many of us do not drink enough water during the day. Avoid caffeinated drinks, which tend to dry the mouth. Also, make sure you get plenty of fluids when you exercise or are feeling ill.


Dry mouth can be a side effect for hundreds of over-the-counter and prescription medications, including some antihistamines, decongestants, muscle relaxants, diuretics and pain-killers and medicines for depression and high blood pressure. Check the labels for any medications you take, and always let Dr. Marra know all medications you are taking.

Chemotherapy and radiations.

People undergoing cancer treatments might notice a change in saliva production, which can be temporary or permanent.

Tobacco use.

Dry mouth is just one of many reasons to kick the tobacco habit.

Alcohol use.

When you consume alcohol, your body must break it down by removing water from your blood to your urine. The more you drink, the more visits you’ll make to the bathroom!

Methamphetamine abuse.

Methamphetamines addiction can lead to a condition known as meth mouth, which is marked by chronic dry mouth and severe tooth decay.

Health conditions.

Sjogren’s disease is an autoimmune disease in which white blood cells attack moisture-producing glands and decrease the production of saliva. Other health conditions can lead to dry mouth, such as Parkinson’s disease, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and depression.

Snoring or breathing through the mouth.

This removes moisture from the mouth and can lead to dry mouth.


Changes in hormone levels can affect the salivary glands and the production of saliva.

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