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How common is dry mouth?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Dry mouth, or xerostomia is exceptionally common. Because it can be caused by many different types of medications, it can occur in almost anyone. Additionally, the incidences of chronic dry mouth rise dramatically as you get older.

Dry mouth is very common: In one study of more than 4,000 people, as many as 27% had xerostomia, the medical term for the condition. It's not surprising. More than 400 different drugs can cause dry mouth. It's also a side effect of some autoimmune diseases, such as Sjögren's syndrome, as well as chemotherapy and radiation treatment for cancer. In addition, dry mouth often happens simply because of age.
Dry mouth, also called xerostomia, is very common, In fact, everyone’s mouth can be dry sometimes. However, 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.  

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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.