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Should I talk to my doctor about my dry mouth symptoms?

If you feel like your mouth is always dry, it may be time to seek treatment. A dentist will check your teeth for signs of decay that can result from decreased salivary flow. A physician will test for any underlying disease or conditions that may be causing your dry mouth.  

If you are experiencing dry mouth, or xerostomia, only every once in a while, it may not be necessary to speak with your doctor about your symptoms. However, if you experience chronic dry mouth, it is important to see your doctor. Chronic dry mouth can cause dental decay and disease, and speaking with your doctor can help you avoid this.

Your symptoms of dry mouth (xerostomia) could range from merely annoying (dry lips) to potentially dangerous (difficulty eating or swallowing due to thick, stringy saliva). You should tell your doctor about your symptoms, because xerostomia can lead to many problems. Without saliva, you have an increased risk of developing tooth decay (cavities) and infections (gingivitis, periodontitis). If your dry mouth symptoms are severe, you may not be able to chew or swallow your food correctly, so you may begin eating less.

Finally, even if you are not having any major difficulties managing your dry mouth, you should be aware that dry mouth could be a symptom of another disease or condition. For example, the autoimmune disease called Sjogren's syndrome often causes dry mouth and eyes, but may also affect the joints, nerves, lungs, or kidneys.

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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.