Xerostomia is "a dryness of the mouth, having a varied etiology, resulting from diminished or arrested salivary secretion, or asialism."

Xerostomia is not a disease; it is a symptom.

Causes of Xerostomia

There are several causes of dry mouth, also called xerostomia. These include:

Side Effect of Medicine


Hundreds of drugs can cause dry mouth. These include pain relievers, medicines for depression, anxiety. colds(antihistamines and decongestants) , high blood pressure(diuretics),obesity, acne, epilepsy, diarrhea, nausea, psychotic disorders, urinary incontinence, asthma (certain bronchodilators), and Parkinson's disease  and allergies. Dry mouth can also be a side effect of muscle relaxants and sedatives. Medicines are the most common cause of Xerostomia.



Getting older isn't a risk factor for dry mouth on its own; however, older people are more likely to be taking medications that may cause dry mouth. Also, older people are more likely to have other health conditions that may cause dry mouth.

Complication of Diseases and Infections

Several diseases are associated with dry mouth . They include blood pressure and HIV infection/AIDS. Xerostomia also occurs with Sjogren’s syndrome. In this disease, the body’s antibodies attack the salivary and tear glands. Some viral infections such as mumps, also affect saliva production and cause Xerostomia.  


Any condition that leads to loss of body fluids can also cause Xerostomia. These conditions include fever, excessive sweating, vomiting, diarrhea, blood loss, and burns.

Radiation Therapy

Xerostomia is a common side effect of radiation therapy to treat cancers in the head and neck.  

Surgical Removal of Salivary

Gland  If a mass develops in a salivary gland then surgical removal of the gland may be recommended. This leads to Xerostomia.

Changes in Lifestyle

Smoking or chewing tobacco can affect saliva production and aggravate dry mouth. Continuously breathing with your mouth open can also contribute to the problem.

Nerve Damage

Dry mouth can be a result of nerve damage to the head and neck area From An Injury Or Surgery.

Salivary Duct Obstructions:for example, tiny stones made from saliva minerals may lodge in the salivary ducts and restrict saliva flow.

Effects of Xerostomia

  1. Due to the lack of saliva, one of the key problems faced by Xerostomia patients has dental decay. Dry mouth also increases a person's risk of gingivitis (gum disease) and mouth infections, such as thrush.

  2. It can lead to dryness, a burning or sore feeling in the mouth or throat, bad or metallic or reduced taste, dentures becoming loose and causing sore areas, difficulty in chewing, swallowing and speaking.

About 10 per cent of the general population and 25 per cent of the elderly have dry mouth syndrome, which is the lack of sufficient saliva.


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