Also called “xerostomia,” dry mouth is caused by improperly functioning salivary glands. This is often caused by disease, certain medications, or cancer treatment. Dry mouth can make it hard to eat, swallow, taste and speak. You can mitigate dry mouth by drinking lots of water and avoiding sweets, tobacco, alcohol and caffeine. We also may be able to prescribe medications to fight severe dry mouth.
Some medical treatments such as radiation therapy can actually permanently damage the salivary glands. More than four-hundred kinds of medications list dry mouth as a side effect. The more common drugs include decongestants, diuretics, anti-hypertensives, anti-depressants, and antihistamines.