Dry mouth happens when the salivary glands which produce saliva in the mouth decrease production, making the mouth feel unusually dry. Dry mouth can be caused by a variety of factors, including dehydration from caffeine, alcohol or tobacco use (chewing or smoking), fever, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive sweating, blood loss, or burns. The mouth also dries out when you breathe through your mouth or snore while sleeping with your mouth open. This is why you wake up with “morning breath”, as saliva usually washes your mouth during the day.
Another common cause of dry mouth arises as a side effect of taking certain medications, both prescription and nonprescription drugs. A long list of medications causing dry mouth include those for obesity, acne, epilepsy, hypertension, urinary incontinence, asthma, and Parkinson’s disease.
Additional Medications Causing Dry Mouth
–Medications for diarrhea
–Antihistamines and decongestants for colds
–Medication for anxiety, depression and psychotic disorders
In addition, health conditions including nerve damage to the head and neck area from an injury or surgery can cause dry mouth, as can anemia, rheumatoid arthritis, cystic fibrosis, hypertension, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and even mumps. Autoimmune disease like Sjogren’s syndrome or HIV/AIDS lower saliva production, while stroke and Alzheimer’s disease may make you feel like you have dry mouth when in reality the salivary glands are working fine. Cancer therapy can damage the salivary glands, and chemotherapy drugs can also change saliva production.
If you have dry mouth, and it is caused by your medications, you may need to switch medications or alter the dosage. If you have any questions or concerns about dry mouth, please give our team a call at 703.451.8332 today.