Dry mouth, or xerostomia, refers to the salivary glands in your mouth not making enough saliva to keep your mouth moist. Dry mouth is often due to side effects of certain medications, problems with aging, or as a result of radiation therapy for cancer. Rarely, dry mouth is due to a disease that affects the salivary glands directly.

Saliva helps prevent tooth decay by neutralizing the acids produced by bacteria, as well as limiting bacterial growth and removing food particles. Saliva also improves taste and makes chewing and swallowing easier. In addition, the enzymes in saliva aid in the digestion process.

Decreased salivation and dry mouth differ from being simply a harm to something that has a significant impact on your overall health, the health of your teeth and gums, as well as your appetite and enjoyment of food.

Dry mouth treatment depends on the cause.

Symptoms
If your mouth isn’t producing enough saliva, you may start to notice some or all of these signs and symptoms:

Dry mouth and stickiness of saliva
Thick, sticky saliva
smelly breath
Difficulty chewing, speaking and swallowing
Dryness, sore throat and hoarseness of the voice
dry tongue
The taste of things has changed
Difficulty installing artificial teeth
In addition to dry mouth, you may notice lipstick stuck to your teeth.

When do you visit the doctor?
If you notice signs and symptoms of persistent dry mouth, make an appointment with your doctor.

the reasons
A dry mouth occurs when the salivary glands in the mouth do not produce enough saliva to keep the mouth moist. These glands may not function properly as a result of:

pharmaceutical. Hundreds of medications, including many over-the-counter medications, cause dry mouth as a side effect. Among the types most likely to cause problems are some medications used to treat depression, high blood pressure and anxiety, as well as some antihistamines, decongestants, muscle relaxants and pain relievers.
aging Many older adults experience dry mouth as they get older. Contributing factors include use of certain medications, changes in the body’s ability to process medications, improper nutrition, and long-term health problems.
Cancer treatment. Chemotherapy drugs can change the nature and amount of saliva that is produced. This may be temporary as the normal flow of saliva returns after treatment is completed. Radiation treatments directed at the head and neck can damage the salivary glands, causing a marked decrease in saliva production. This may be temporary or permanent, depending on the dose of radiation and the area treated.
nerve damage; Injury or surgery that damages the nerves in the head or neck area can lead to dry mouth.
other health conditions. Dry mouth can be due to certain health conditions, such as diabetes, stroke, fungal infection (thrush) in the mouth, Alzheimer’s disease, or autoimmune diseases, such as Sjogren’s syndrome or HIV/AIDS. Snoring and breathing with the mouth open can also contribute to dry mouth.
Smoking and drinking alcohol. Drinking alcohol and smoking or chewing tobacco can increase symptoms of dry mouth.
Promotional drug abuse. Taking methamphetamine can cause chronic dry mouth and tooth damage, a condition also known as “methamphetamine mouth.” Marijuana can also cause dry mouth.

Complications
If you don’t have enough saliva and your mouth becomes dry, it can lead to:

Increased plaque, tooth decay and gum disease
mouth ulcers
Infection with a fungal infection in the mouth (fungus)
Sores or cracked skin in the corners of your mouth, or cracked lips
Malnutrition due to problems with chewing and swallowing.