How is dry mouth diagnosed?

It is diagnosed by reviewing the symptoms and medical history. An examination of the mouth and teeth is also needed. 

There are some doctors that will also measure the amount of saliva produced and there are various ways of doing this.

All this information is put together by a doctor experienced in xerostomia and a diagnosis is achieved.
If you're experiencing dry mouth it's important to know that dry mouth is a potential side effect of numerous medications (prescribed and over-the-counter). Among them are antihistamines, decongestants, painkillers, high blood pressure medications, muscle relaxants, drugs for urinary incontinence, Parkinson’s disease medications, antidepressants and many others. Drying irritates the soft tissues in the mouth, which can make them inflamed and more susceptible to infection.

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.
To diagnose dry mouth, a dentist will measure your saliva flow and investigate the possible causes. You will be asked about medications you use that might reduce the flow of saliva in your mouth. Another possible cause is Sjögren’s syndrome, in which the body's immune system attacks its moisture-producing glands. Radiation therapy can also damage salivary glands.

Because dry mouth is a feeling that happens to everyone from time to time, there really is no diagnosis for occasional dry mouth. However, if you are suffering from persistent and chronic dry mouth, your doctor may want to examine your teeth and discuss your symptoms with you. A doctor may be able to diagnose dry mouth, or xerostomia, as soon as you tell your doctor what medications you are currently taking. Blood tests or imaging tests might be used to determine possible issues with salivation.

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.