Symptoms of Dry Mouth to Watch Out For

Dry mouth, also referred to as xerostomia, is a condition where the salivary glands don’t produce enough saliva. While this medical condition isn’t extremely serious on its own, it can often link to underlying illnesses such as diabetes, stroke, or Alzheimer’s disease.

That being said, it’s important to watch out for any signs of dry mouth to ensure your body is in tip-top shape. Some of these symptoms include…

1. Stickiness in the Mouth

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One of the most obvious and earliest signs of this condition is a feeling of stickiness or dryness within the mouth. This feeling can often be triggered by medications, aging, nerve damage, or other health conditions. Plus, recreational drug and alcohol use can cause severe dry mouth as well.

This unpleasant feeling in the mouth can lead to many other symptoms…

2. Bad Breath

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One of the many important responsibilities of saliva is to cleanse the mouth. In doing so, saliva removes particles that cause bad odors. When the production of saliva is significantly decreased, bad breath typically follows. This isn’t just any normal case of bad breath, though, as it can be hard to cure and last longer than usual.

More often than not, dry mouth can also affect how you eat…

3. Difficulty Chewing and Swallowing

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Along with cleansing the mouth, saliva also helps move food out of your mouth and through your esophagus. With a lower amount of saliva, this becomes nearly impossible. As a result, the process of chewing and swallowing becomes difficult and sometimes painful.

Not only can dry mouth affect your ability to swallow, but it can also change your sense of taste as well…

4. A Changed Sense of Taste

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Your tastebuds can only taste food if it’s dissolved in liquid first. When your mouth is lacking saliva, this can dramatically impact your taste buds, since the food isn’t being dissolved as thoroughly. This may cause food to be tasteless or lack flavor overall.

If you notice a change in your taste buds, you may also notice a change in the texture of your tongue…

5. Dry or Grooved Tongue

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A lack of saliva in your mouth may cause your tongue to feel rough and dry. For those with dry mouth, the tongue may also become grooved or have slight ridges. There are several reasons why your tongue could appear or feel different, though, so it’s important to see your doctor for a possible explanation.

Dry mouth can also cause an unquenchable thirst…

6. Frequent Thirst

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When you drink water, your body’s cells are able to absorb it via osmosis, which helps quench your thirst. But, when you lack saliva, your thirst may feel unquenchable. Dry mouth can also be caused by not getting enough water though, as it can make you dehydrated.

Without proper hydration, your throat can start to hurt…

7. Sore Throat

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An inadequate flow of saliva in your mouth can lead to a constant sore throat. This can often be treated by drinking lots of fluid, over-the-counter pain relievers, and rest. If your sore throat and dry mouth persist, speak with your doctor for further treatment options.

This next symptom won’t apply to everyone…

8. Trouble Wearing Dentures

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If you wear dentures and are experiencing dry mouth, you may notice that the dentures feel loose. This is because a normal flow of saliva is required in order for the dentures to properly adhere to the gums. This is a tell-tale sign of dry mouth because it’s solely caused by a lack of saliva.


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