Q:

What does a dry mouth mean?

A:

Quick Answer

Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is a condition in which the mouth is insufficiently moist, often because the salivary glands aren't producing enough saliva. It is a common side effect of many medications.

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Full Answer

Because dry mouth can be caused by certain diseases as well as medications, people experiencing dry mouth should consult their doctors to identify the cause of their dry mouth. Saliva plays an important role in chewing and swallowing, and people with dry mouth may want to drink more water with meals to aid in swallowing. Saliva also helps protect against tooth decay, and proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits are especially important for people experiencing dry mouth. Dry mouth is more common among seniors, many of whom take multiple medications that have dry mouth as a side effect.

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