What increases my risk for dry mouth?


Some of the things that can increase your risk for dry mouth are:

  • Taking medications that cause dry mouth
  • Surgery that removes a salivary gland
  • Radiation treatment to the head and neck


Dry mouth (xerostomia) can make you feel as if there is never enough saliva in your mouth. Xerostomia happens when the saliva-producing glands in the mouth are not working correctly. You may notice that your mouth feels dry or that your lips are cracked. Your saliva may become very thick and stringy, making it hard to swallow or even to talk clearly.

Many different conditions can lead to dry mouth, including:
  • an injury to the head or neck
  • medicines, including some for depression and for high blood pressure
  • diseases such as Sjogren's syndrome, diabetes and HIV/AIDS
  • cancer treatment, including radiation and chemotherapy
If you have any of these diseases or conditions and are worried about developing dry mouth, talk with your doctor or dentist.

The majority of cases of dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, are caused by various types of medications. Dry mouth can be a side effect to many different types of medication, from chemotherapy to over-the-counter antihistamines. Your dry mouth may also be caused by a neck or head disease or condition. If you are experiencing persistent dry mouth, see your doctor to determine the cause.

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.