Dry Mouth syndrome, medically known as Xerostomia is a type of salivary gland dysfunction, where the salivary glands in your mouth don't make enough saliva to keep your mouth wet.

Girl applying lipstick

The condition is often being experienced as a side effect, probably due to long term consumption of steroidal medications or as result of radiation therapy.

Decreased production of saliva and dried mouth reduces the ability to taste, increase cultivation of bacteria in between the denture facilitating tooth decay and may have a severe impact on person overall health condition due to lack of appetite and indigestion.

Dry mouth syndrome is reported as a complication from medications, aging, cancer treatment, neuronal damage as well as other co-morbid health conditions.

 Some of the common complications reported due to dry mouth should be noted as:

  • Increased plaque, gum disease, and excessive tooth decay
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Fungal infection in the mouth
  • Cracked lips, split skin
  • Poor nutrition

Signs And Symptoms

  • Excessive dryness or a feeling of stickiness
  • Persistent bad breath even after brushing teeth regularly
  • Dried tongue 
  • Change in the sense of taste
  • Sore throat

Diagnosis And Treatment

Doctors usually suggest certain blood test, imaging scan of the salivary gland or test to measure salivary secretions to identify the cause of dry mouth. If your doctor suspect Sjogren's syndrome as cause of dry mouth, then a biopsy of salivary glands or lip may send for testing to detect functional issues.

The treatment depends upon the root cause of dry mouth syndrome. Doctor may change the course of medications that cause dry mouth, recommend over-counter creams or prescription creams, artificial saliva or moisturizer to support moisture balance in the mouth.