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Your saliva production can be affected by many things, anything from dehydration to medical conditions and medications. When saliva is reduced, you may experience a condition called dry mouth, or xerostomia. Dry mouth happens when the salivary glands which produce saliva in the mouth decrease production, making the mouth feel drier than normal.

No. 1. Dehydration may develop from excess caffeine, alcohol or tobacco use (chewing or smoking) or fever, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive sweating, blood loss, or burns. Your mouth can also dry out when breathing through your mouth or snoring with your mouth open, making you wake up with “morning breath”.

No. 2. Medical conditions including nerve damage to the head and neck area from an injury or surgery can cause dry mouth, as can anemia, rheumatoid arthritis, cystic fibrosis, hypertension, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and mumps. HIV/AIDS and Sjogren’s syndrome (autoimmune disease) lower saliva production, while stroke and Alzheimer’s disease may make you feel like you have dry mouth when in reality your salivary glands are working fine. Cancer therapy can sometimes damage the salivary glands, and chemotherapy drugs can alter saliva production.

No. 3 Medications both prescription and nonprescription drugs list dry mouth as a side effect. This extensive list includes medications for obesity, acne, epilepsy, hypertension, urinary incontinence, asthma, and Parkinson’s disease. If you are taking any of the following medications, watch out for dry mouth: depression and anxiety, pain, allergy, antihistamines and decongestants for colds, obesity, acne, epilepsy, hypertension (diuretics), muscle relaxants, sedatives, diarrhea, nausea, psychotic disorders, urinary incontinence, asthma, and Parkinson’s disease.

If you have dry mouth caused by your medications, it may require a change in medications or changing the dosage. If you have any questions or concerns about dry mouth, please give our team at Anderson Lane Dental in Austin a call at 512.459.4347 today.