Dry Mouth (Xerostomia): Causes & Symptoms

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated -

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When you’re suffering from dry mouth, it’s not exactly difficult to detect; your tongue feels like sand, you can’t seem to generate any saliva, and it becomes more difficult to swallow. While most people assume that dry mouth is solely caused by dehydration, the truth is that this affliction can come from a number of causes.

What is Dry Mouth?

Dry mouth or xerostomia is primarily defined by the lack of saliva production in your mouth. Saliva is a very important fluid in our body because it helps us speak, chew, spit and digest food, but most people don’t think about it until it’s gone.


Xerostomia can be caused by any of the following reasons:

  • Medications (especially antihistamines, painkillers, muscle relaxants, and anti-depressants)
  • Smoking
  • Pregnancy
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Natural aging process

Closeup of a woman's face showing dry mouth


While this condition isn’t necessarily dangerous, it can make life uncomfortable, as it can result in:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Sudden, strong craving for water
  • Bad breath
  • A dry tongue
  • Cracked lips
  • A sore throat
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About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve, Co-Founder, Organic Facts is a health and wellness enthusiast and is responsible for managing it. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University, US. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. An ardent follower of naturopathy, she believes in healing with foods. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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