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A dry mouth can be uncomfortable. However, it can also be a sign of more serious health conditions. A dry mouth can be caused by:
- Some medications.
- Nerve damage.
Indeed, there are many causes of dry mouth, from health conditions such as the ones listed above to breathing with the mouth rather than the nose.
Also while you may think that a dry mouth is just an occasional irritant, it can have serious consequences.
Consequences of dry mouth
Saliva helps the mouth and throat function properly, and having a dry mouth can disrupt this.
It can also increase your risk of gum disease, oral thrush and tooth decay. If you need dentures, you may find these are uncomfortable or loose if you have a dry mouth.
Other symptoms of dry mouth include:
- Bad breath
- Sore throat
- Tingling in the mouth and throat
- Split skin in the corners of the mouth.
- Frequent thirst.
Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to combat a dry mouth.
Treating dry mouth
How dry mouth is treated depends on the cause.
You should stop or cut down if you smoke, and ensure you drink plenty of water. If you believe your dry mouth is caused by medication, discuss this with your doctor.
They may be able to reduce your dose or move you to an alternative medication that does not cause the same side effects.