Dry Mouth & Its Causes

Dry Mouth & Its Causes

Dry mouth is a condition that affects millions of Americans, and it can occur for a number of reasons. It usually occurs as a side effect of some medications, or poor dental hygiene, or it can occur as a result of the aging process.

The causes of dry mouth include:


Some medications can lead to xerostomia. Dry mouth is a common side effect of some medications. For example, diuretics, such as hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDiuril) decrease the flow of saliva. Some antidepressants, such as venlafaxine (Effexor), also cause dry mouth as a side effect.

Gum Disease

The most common cause of dry mouth is gum disease. Gum disease is an inflammation that damages tissue and bone. As a result, gums pull away from the teeth. This makes them loose, sensitive, and more likely to become infected.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy is oftentimes used to treat cancers of the head and neck. Radiation is energy that is strong enough to damage cells. While it can damage healthy tissue in the head and neck, it also prevents cancer cells from growing and multiplying. Radiation therapy works by damaging the cells’ DNA, which prevents them from growing.

However, radiation therapy can also cause dry mouth. During radiation therapy, structures in the head and neck, such as the salivary glands, can be damaged. This damage can result in a dry mouth.


Smoking is one of the worst habits for your mouth. Tobacco products dry out your mouth and irritate your gum tissue. The chemicals present in your cigarettes also stain your teeth. Smoking also increases your risk of oral cancer.

If you smoke, the best thing you can do for your mouth is quit. 


Dehydration isn’t just about being thirsty. Many drinks and foods contain water, and being dehydrated can occur when you consume too much of these without drinking enough additional liquid.

For example, drinking caffeinated beverages or alcohol may cause dry mouth. This happens because caffeine and alcohol are both diuretics, meaning that they cause the body to produce urine to flush out waste.

Certain Diseases and Medical Conditions

Dry mouth is a common side effect of certain medications and diseases, including Sjogren’s syndrome. It’s essential that you tell your dentist when you experience dry mouth so that they can properly treat it. You may also experience dry mouth if you have diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, or Alzheimer’s.


Dry mouth is a common side effect of aging. As you get older, your salivary glands produce less saliva. Dry mouth can also be a side effect of certain medications, including antidepressants and diuretics.

A dry mouth can cause bad breath, a bad taste in your mouth, and trouble swallowing. 

Vosh Dental is equipped with the best dentists and modern amenities that enable the best treatment for the patients. To learn more about our dental bridges, visit our office at 4541 HERITAGE TRACE PARKWAY SUITE #1301 FORT WORTH, TX 76244. You can also reach us at (817) 203-1561 and schedule an appointment.

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