Can I develop dry mouth as an adult?

Everyone's mouth can be dry sometimes. In fact, there are many causes for dry mouth, including side effects from common over-the-counter and prescription medications. It can also be caused by radiation treatment for head and neck cancers. In some cases, dry mouth results from salivary gland disease, emotional stress or Sjögren’s Syndrome (an autoimmune disease). Snoring or breathing through your mouth may also result in a dry mouth.
Adults can develop dry mouth. However, dry mouth is not a normal part of aging, but often a result of a medical condition, medications you may be taking, cancer treatment, or an injury to the head or neck that damages nerves.

Hundreds of medications can interfere with the amount of saliva that your mouth produces, and producing enough saliva is important for oral health. These medications include common prescription drugs for high blood pressure and depression.

Cancer therapy such as radiation or chemotherapy often causes dry mouth as a side effect. Medical conditions including diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and Sjogren’s syndrome can also cause dry mouth in adults.

Actually, the incidences of chronic dry mouth, or xerostomia, go up as you age. This may be due to simply getting older, but it is also because the more medications you take, the more likely you are to have dry mouth as a side effect of those medications. Talk to your doctor about your dry mouth symptoms.

Continue Learning about Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.