Dry mouth or excess saliva can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'minor' to 'generally fatal'. Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.
Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms. In order to diagnose dry mouth or excess saliva, we could:
|Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis||18%||Unlikely|
|Parkinson's Disease||2%||Ruled out|
|Chemotherapy Side-Effects||1%||Ruled out|
|Drug Side-Effects||0%||Ruled out|
In general, how plentiful is the saliva in your mouth?
Possible responses:→ My mouth is often very dry
→ My mouth is sometimes a bit dry
→ Normal / don't know
→ I always have plenty of saliva
→ Excess saliva, with a tendency to drool
Hundreds of drugs list dry mouth as a possible side-effect. Antihistamines, decongestants, painkillers, muscle relaxants, and antidepressants are among the drugs that can cause dry mouth. Those taking two different medications are up to 40% more likely to suffer from dry mouth.
Alzheimer's patients may have a diminished thirst signal so they don't feel thirsty and drink water when they are dehydrated. In addition, dry mouth is very common among seniors and those with Alzheimer's may not tell anyone that they are thirsty due to reduced mental functioning.
Radiation can damage the salivary glands and reduce the amount of saliva produced.
The body will conserve fluid in various ways when we are dehydrated and one of these is a reduction in saliva production, which results in a drier mouth.
In cases of Sjogren's syndrome, the body's immune system mistakenly attacks tear ducts and saliva glands, leading to chronically dry eyes and dry mouth (xerostomia).