If you’re experiencing persistent dry mouth, you may begin to worry that something is wrong. There are many potential causes of dry mouth. In most cases, dry mouth is nothing to worry about, but it does mean that you may have to take extra care to prevent cavities or gum disease.

Dry Mouth Causes

Dry mouth–technically known as xerostomia–can be identified by a dry, sticky feeling in the mouth, as well as potential increases in sores in the mouth. You may also notice cracking skin at the corners of your mouth and a red, irritated tongue.

Dry mouth causes include:

  • Dehydration
  • Medications, at least 400 common medications including:
    • Antidepressants
    • Antihistamines (common in cold and allergy medication)
    • Weight loss medications
    • Blood pressure medication
  • Medical treatments, such as chemotherapy
  • Nerve injury to the head and neck
  • Sjögren’s syndrome (an autoimmune disorder in which your body attacks fluid-producing tissues)
  • Diabetes
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Tobacco use
  • Snoring or mouth breathing

The severity of dry mouth will vary. It can be worsened when you have multiple causes.

Should I Worry?

In most cases, dry mouth isn’t anything to worry about, but it can lead to oral health problems. Your saliva is your body’s primary defense against mouth bacteria, and without it your mouth can not only experience increased bacteria, but the acidic secretions of bacteria can be more damaging.

Home treatments for dry mouth include:

  • Drinking more water
  • Chewing sugar-free gum
  • Avoid antihistamines
  • Use a humidifier
  • Quit smoking or other tobacco use

You also need to make sure you make your regular dental visits to check for decay or gum disease. We have CariFree products that may be helpful in controlling damage related to dry mouth. We can also let you know whether you should make more frequent visits, and recommend when you might want to talk to your doctor about alternative medication choices.

Please contact Dr. James B. Polley in Las Vegas today to learn more about your options.