How long does dry mouth last?


Everyone’s mouth can be dry sometimes. 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.  

How long dry mouth (xerostomia) lasts depends on what's causing it. If your medication is giving you dry mouth, it will go away once you stop the drug. If you need to take the medication for a chronic condition, talk to your doctor about alternatives that don't have the same side effect. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy for cancer can cause dry mouth. When the treatment stops, dry mouth usually goes away. Conditions that affect the salivary glands and cause dry mouth, such as Sjögren's syndrome, are usually lifelong.

Dry mouth can last a very short period of time or a very long period of time, depending on the cause. Everyone experiences dry mouth at some time in their lives, but chronic dry mouth is typically a side effect to a drug. Ideally, once you discontinue the medication causing your dry mouth, your symptoms will decrease. However, radiation can destroy salivary glands, in which case, xerostomia may become a lifelong condition.

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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.