Dry Mouth


Here at Smile Hub Dental Clinic, we see many patients who suffer from dry mouth. Dry mouth is a condition where there is not enough saliva in the mouth to keep it moist. Dry mouth happens to everyone on occasion, particularly if a person is nervous, stressed or upset. Constant dry mouth is different and can be very uncomfortable. It can even lead to other health problems or be a sign that there already is a health condition as saliva helps to digest food, protects the teeth, prevents infection in the mouth and is essential for chewing and swallowing.


There are a number of reasons why the salivary glands may not be producing saliva adequately. Dry mouth can be a side affect to a lot of medications. Certain diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and HIV can affect the salivary glands. Radiation therapy can also affect the salivary glands and even cause damage temporarily or permanently. Chemotherapy can change the consistency of the saliva causing dry mouth. The hormone change during menopause and heavy smoking can also cause dry mouth.


Everyone can experience dry mouth from time to time but it may be more severe if it is constant and includes the following symptoms:


  • The mouth feeling dry and sticky
  • Finding it hard to swallow
  • A burning sensation on your tongue
  • Throat feels dry
  • Cracked or split lips
  • Not able to taste or ongoing taste of metal in the mouth
  • Mouth sores
  • Constant bad breath
  • Finding it hard to talk or chew


There is no exact cure to dry mouth. All a person can do is try to figure out what is causing their mouth to be dry and treat the cause. If you find out that it is medication which is causing dry mouth you could ask you doctor to change your medication or the dosage. If it is due to a condition which is stopping your salivary glands from working properly, your doctor might be able to prescribe you medication to help this. If you cannot find the cause of your dry mouth, here are a few things that can be done to help keep the mouth moist:


  • Drink water regularly
  • Mouth moisturisers or saliva substitutes
  • Special formulated mouthwash for dry mouth
  • Avoid beverages such as tea and coffee as they can cause the mouth to become dry
  • Chew sugar free gum to stimulate the salivary glands
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol as they can cause dry mouth
  • If your mouth is dry avoid spicy and salty foods that can cause irritation
  • Use a humidifier while sleeping


If you have dry mouth and would like to find out more information on it please contact Smile Hub Dental Clinic at 01 5253888 or book and appointment online.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is dry mouth a sign of?

Dry mouth is caused by an insufficient amount of saliva in the mouth but it can also be a sign of certain health conditions. The most common conditions that cause dry mouth are diabetes, stroke, yeast infection, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Autoimmune diseases also cause dry mouth. Medication, smoking and other health treatments can all lead to dry mouth.

What foods can cause dry mouth?

  • Drinks with a high sugar content
  • Caffeinated drinks such as coffee and tea
  • Alcohol and mouthwash containing alcohol
  • Acidic foods such as citrus fruit
  • Spicy or salty foods can irritate your mouth and tongue
  • Tobacco and tobacco products.

How long does dry mouth last?

If your mouth is dry on occasion, drinking water can resolve it quickly. If you have dry mouth due to medication or medical treatment it can take a month or two for dry mouth to wear off. If your salivary glands have been damaged temporarily it make take up to 6 months for saliva to form in the mouth again. It is important to keep the mouth moist with water while it is still feeling dry.

Is dry mouth a serious condition?

Dry mouth is not a serious condition but can sometimes be a sign that there is a different underlying health condition which may be more serious. It can also lead to problems such as tooth decay and infections in the mouth.

What drink is good for a dry mouth?

Plain water is the best drink for a dry mouth. Letting ice melt in your mouth without biting it is also a great way to help your mouth stay moist. Chewing on sugar free chewing gum is another way to stimulate the salivary glands and produce saliva in the mouth.

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    01 5253888

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    Smile Hub Dental Clinic, Bayside Medical Centre, Bayside Shopping Centre, Sutton, Dublin 13