Dry mouth is a frustrating problem that can be all too common for people with some lifestyles, medications, and health conditions. But what exactly causes dry mouth? What are its symptoms? We’re here with answers to all your top questions (and more!) about dry mouth.
Dry Mouth Overview
This annoying condition is caused by a lack of saliva in your mouth. According to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, your mouth is full of hundreds of minor salivary glands and three sets of major salivary glands that provide saliva to your mouth. Dry mouth (also known as xerostomia) occurs when your salivary glands underproduce.
Besides making sure your mouth feels comfortable and moist, saliva (also known as spit) boasts a range of benefits. It provides minerals to the enamel of your teeth, washes out food matter, and supports the soft and hard tissues of your mouth. Together, these factors help prevent cavities and gum disease.
You may notice that you have trouble speaking, swallowing, or chewing when your mouth is dried out, so it’s a great idea to stop it in its tracks.
Symptoms of dry mouth may include:
- A characteristic feeling of dryness of your mouth, gums, or tongue
- Food and drinks taste different
- Dentures do not easily attach to your gums
- A scratchy voice
- A sore throat
- Bad breath (halitosis)