The Dental Blog of Bradely J. Olson, DDS

Causes of Xerostomia

What Causes Xerostomia (Dry Mouth)?

The types of medications commonly associated with dry mouth include:  antihistamines (allergy), antidepressants, painkillers, diuretics (blood pressure), tranquilizers/sedatives, and decongestants.

In addition to medications, there are also other causes of dry mouth.  For instance, dry mouth can be a side effect of certain diseases and infections.  Some examples are HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, Sjogren’s syndrome, anemia, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, cystic fibrosis, stroke, and mumps.

Medical treatments such as chemotherapy can reduce saliva production.  Also, radiation treatment to the head or neck can cause dry mouth.

Another cause of dry mouth can be dehydration.  Conditions such as vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and excessive sweating that can lead to dehydration can cause dry mouth.

Finally, lifestyle choices can affect saliva flow.  Smoking, alcohol, and caffeine can each contribute to dry mouth.

Coming up:  How to Treat Xerostomia (dry mouth)

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