Is Your Mouth Always Dry?

August 17, 2021 by admin0

When you have dry mouth most of the time, you are at risk of experiencing a number of oral health problems, such as

  • tooth decay
  • mouth sores
  • chapped or cracked lips
  • bad breath
  • a sore tongue or throat
  • trouble chewing, speaking, or swallowing.

Dry mouth also may affect how your dentures fit. Dentures are held in place by a thin layer of saliva. If you don’t make enough saliva, your dentures may not stay in place. Dentures that don’t fit well can slip and rub, causing mouth sores.


Many things can cause dry mouth. Medications are a common reason a person may make less saliva than usual. As many as 500 medications both prescription and those you can buy over the counter (like allergy and cold medicines) can be factors. Radiation treatments for head and neck cancer often damage the salivary glands and result in chronic dry mouth. Saliva production also may be affected by diseases. Longterm diseases, such as Sjögren syndrome, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis, can be associated with dry mouth. It also may occur in people with conditions that develop with advancing age, such as Parkinson and Alzheimer diseases. Depression and anxiety also may be related to dry mouth.

Using tobacco or drinking alcohol or beverages with caffeine like coffee and tea and eating spicy foods also can trigger dry mouth.3 Breathing only through your mouth most of the time whether awake or sleeping also dries your mouth out.


You can try several things to help relieve dry mouth, including

  • sipping water or sugarless drinks that don’t contain caffeine
  • sucking (not chewing) on ice chips
  • applying lanolin-based lip balm
  • using sugar-free chewing gum or sugar-free candy to stimulate saliva production
  • using a humidifier at night.

There also are several things you can avoid that might help; for example

  • eating salty or spicy foods
  • consuming alcoholic beverages, including alcohol containing mouth rinses
  • drinking caffeine-containing beverages
  • using tobacco products.


Having low or no saliva can increase your risk of tooth decay. This makes good oral hygiene even more important. Some steps you can take to improve your oral hygiene include brushing your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush and a toothpaste with fluoride in it and cleaning between your teeth once a day using floss or another interdental cleaner.

You should also visit the dentist regularly. Your dentist may be able to help determine the cause of your problem. He or she can examine you, measure your salivary flow, and talk with you about your general health, medications, or personal habits that may contribute to your dry mouth. Your dentist also may be able to help reduce your risk of tooth decay by applying a fluoride gel or varnish to your teeth or prescribing a mouth rinse or toothpaste that contains high levels of fluoride.1 He or she also may suggest that you use a rinse or gel to help keep your mouth moist.

If you wear dentures, your dentist can be alert to ensure they fit properly. If mouth sores develop, he or she may be able to adjust the dentures to help resolve the problem.


Dry mouth can lead to oral health problems like tooth decay or mouth sores. Talk to your dentist about ways to limit the effects of dry mouth.

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