Dry mouth is the feeling that there is not enough saliva in your mouth. Everyone has a dry mouth once in a while - if they are nervous, upset or under stress. But if you have a dry mouth all or most of the time, it can be uncomfortable and can lead to serious health problems.
Symptoms of dry mouth include
- A sticky, dry feeling in the mouth
- Trouble chewing, swallowing, tasting, or speaking
- A burning feeling in the mouth
- A dry feeling in the throat
- Cracked lips
- A dry, rough tongue
- Mouth sores
- An infection in the mouth
Dry mouth is not a normal part of aging. Causes include some medicines, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and nerve damage. Salivary gland diseases, Sjogren's syndrome, HIV/AIDS, and diabetes can also cause dry mouth. Treatment depends on the cause. Things you can do include sipping water, avoiding drinks with caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol, and chewing sugarless gum or sucking on sugarless hard candy.
NIH: National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
Diagnosis and Tests
- Correct Diagnosis Provides Relief for Those with Dry Mouth (Academy of General Dentistry)
Treatments and Therapies
- Dry Mouth Treatment: Tips for Controlling Dry Mouth (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in Spanish
- Dry Mouth or Xerostomia (American Society of Clinical Oncology)
- Oral Complications of Chemotherapy and Head/Neck Radiation (PDQ) (National Cancer Institute) Also in Spanish
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Xerostomia (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Electrical stimulation in the treatment of radiotherapy-induced hyposalivation.
- Article: The use of self-retained, cryopreserved amniotic membrane for the treatment of...
- Article: Small-molecule inhibitors and the salivary gland epithelium in Sjögren's syndrome.
- Dry Mouth -- see more articles