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:
|Cigarette Smoke Damage||25%||Unlikely|
|High Histamine||1%||Ruled out|
|Cystic Fibrosis||1%||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
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.
Smoking or chewing tobacco can reduce saliva production.
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.