Dry Mouth Symptoms – Constantly Dry Mouth Is Both Symptom and Cause of Disease

A constantly dry mouth due to a lack of saliva, also known as xerostomia, can be both the result of many different health conditions, or their treatment, and the cause of many others. Here is a concise but essential guide to interpreting the symptoms of dry mouth and the conditions that can cause it or it may cause.

The most important symptom of dry mouth is, of course, feeling that the mouth is too dry for comfort. Continuing dry mouth may be caused by:

  • Bruxism, or tooth grinding at night,
  • Clenched teeth, a common complication of anxiety and also of methamphetamine use,
  • Autoimmune conditions that attack the salivary glands, especially Sj√∂grens syndrome, but also lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis,mouth
  • Nerve damage to the mouth caused by injury,
  • Nerve damage to the mouth caused by diabetes,
  • Medications for Parkinson’s disease,
  • Sleep apnea or a poorly fitting CPAP mask,
  • Medications for anxiety,
  • Beta-blockers for high blood pressure and anxiety,
  • Chemotherapy for any condition, or
  • Radiation to the neck and face for head and neck cancer or thyroid cancer.

When dry mouth is not treated, it can cause:

  • Chronic bad breath,
  • Numerous cavities,
  • Gum disease,
  • Difficulty talking, singing, or kissing,
  • Mouth sores,
  • Sinusitis,
  • Sore throat, and
  • Various kinds of digestive problems caused by inadequately chewed food.

Causes of dry mouth that your doctor may miss, especially if you are a new patient, include:

  • Accutane or Retin-A treatment for cystic acne,
  • Botulism,
  • Diabetic nerve damage to the mouth, or taking too much amytriptyline (Elavil) to treat diabetic nerve damage to the mouth,
  • Eating bad pickled or fresh herring,
  • Eating spoiled tarpon (fish),
  • Excessive consumption of vanadium supplements,
  • Excessive consumption of vitamin D supplements,
  • Excessive use of Dramamine for motion sickness,
  • Excessive use of Zyrtec for allergies,
  • Familial azotemia, an inherited kidney disease,
  • Migraine,
  • Toxic shock, and
  • Various phobias, including fears of hypnotists, black objects, black people, or dirt.

You can treat dry mouth symptoms even before you know the causes of dry mouth, but if keeping your mouth moist requires constant effort, it’s a good idea to see a doctor to determine the underlying cause.