Is dry mouth contagious?

Dry mouth is often uncomfortable, but is not contagious. There are many causes for dry mouth, including side effects from some 400 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.

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.  
Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, reduces saliva in your mouth, leaving you feeling parched, but it's not contagious. Dry mouth predisposes you to tooth decay and bad breath because you don't have enough saliva to wash away food particles and dead cells, allowing bacteria to grow. You may have problems swallowing and even lose your taste for food. Dry mouth usually results from the side effects of medications for other illnesses and can be treated by adjusting the dosage of medication.

Luckily, dry mouth (xerostomia) is not contagious. However, most cases of dry mouth are caused by certain medications, and you may be taking those medications for a contagious disease. Discuss your dry mouth symptoms with your doctor.

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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.