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||23%||Unlikely|
|Diabetes II||4%||Ruled out|
|Chemotherapy Side-Effects||1%||Ruled out|
|Cigarette Smoke Damage||0%||Ruled out|
|Sjogren's Syndrome||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.
Radiation can damage the salivary glands and reduce the amount of saliva produced.
Smoking or chewing tobacco can reduce saliva production.
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).