How do medications treat dry mouth?

Medications treat dry mouth by stimulating the salivary glands to produce saliva. It is a temporary stimulation and the medication is usually taken 30 to 60 minutes before eating.

The medications are not always the best choice and do not always work well. It depends upon what is causing the dry mouth and the condition of the salivary glands.

The most common side effect of the medication is sweating.
Frequent small sips of water can alleviate dry mouth. Sugar-free candy or gum stimulates saliva flow, and moisture can be replaced by using artificial saliva and oral rinses. You can ask your dentist to recommend an artificial saliva. There are also prescription medications available to treat dry mouth. Taking care of your teeth and gums and regular dental visits are important when living with dry mouth. Without the cleansing effects of saliva, tooth decay and other oral health problems become more common.
Medications to treat dry mouth, a condition also known as xerostomia that makes your mouth unusually parched, increase saliva production. Saliva is what helps wash away food particles and dead cells from your tongue, gums, and cheeks to help reduce decay and bad breath. Drugs such as pilocarpine (Salagen) or cevimeline (Evoxac) helps your mouth make more saliva. You can also use over-the-counter saliva substitutes. Dry mouth usually results from the side effects of medications to treat diarrhea, urinary incontinence, depression, anxiety, Parkinson's disease, and allergies. Your doctor can adjust the dosage of medication to control your dry mouth symptoms.

Though many medications may cause the side effect of dry mouth, or xerostomia, there are medications that can help. Some medications can increase the production of saliva. However, if your saliva glands have been damaged by radiation therapy, these types of medications will not help very much.

Continue Learning about Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)

Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)

Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)

If you've ever taken an antihistamine, decongestant, antidepressant or a number of other drugs, you may have experienced dry mouth (xerostomia). Dry mouth is caused by a lack of saliva or your saliva may feel thick and stringy. Si...

de effects of medication are the most common cause of dry mouth. Fortunately there are remedies for dry mouth; talk to your doctor if symptoms are severe. Learn more about preventing and treating dry mouth with expert advice from Sharecare.

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.