Is dry mouth a symptom of a disease?


It can be a symptom of a systemic disease. For example, Sjogren's syndrome. If you have a dry mouth see a physician or dentist about the possible cause. It could be from medications or an early sign of a systemic problem.

Dry mouth -- also called xerostomia -- results from an inadequate flow of saliva. It is not a disease, but a symptom of a medical disorder or a side effect of taking certain medications. It can lead to altered taste, difficulty in chewing/swallowing/speaking and increases your risk for tooth decay. Without saliva, the tissues in the mouth suffer.

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 is not a symptom of a disease but rather a side effect from different medical conditions and medications. It is often a problem associated with diabetes, Sjogren's syndrome, anemia or cystic fibrosis. People who take antihistamines for colds get dry mouth as a side effect from the medication. Other medications that cause dry mouth include antidepressants, pain relievers and medicines for muscle spasms. Because older adults have certain medical conditions and take several medications, they may be at highest risk for dry mouth. Anytime the body undergoes dehydration, there is a risk of dry mouth. Fevers or excessive sweating can result in dry mouth. Radiation therapy for head or neck cancer can cause dry mouth. If you have dry mouth, talk to your doctor or dentist. This healthcare professional will give you excellent advice on how to live with dry mouth and treat this daily to increase saliva in the mouth.

Continue Learning about Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)

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.