Dry Mouth Causes and Symptoms

Saliva helps you digest food, neutralize acids and wash away plaque and bacteria in your mouth. Dry mouth is not only uncomfortable, but can cause tooth decay and bad breath. Your dentist in Montreal explains what causes dry mouth and how you can combat it.


When your salivary glands don’t make enough saliva, your mouth can become very dry. There are a number of things that can cause dry mouth, including:

Medications—Dry mouth is a side effect of many over-the-counter and prescription drugs. Blood pressure medications, antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications, and some antihistamines, decongestants and pain medications are common types of drugs that may cause dry mouth.

Cancer Treatment—Both chemotherapy and radiation treatment can cause dry mouth. Depending on the type of cancer treatment you receive, dry mouth can be temporary or permanent.

Smoking, Drug & Alcohol Use—Consuming tobacco, alcohol, marijuana and methamphetamine can cause severe dry mouth and damage teeth.

Aging–Many people experience dry mouth as they age.

Health Conditions—Diabetes, stroke, thrush, Alzheimer’s disease, and autoimmune diseases such as HIV can cause dry mouth. Breathing with your mouth open and snoring also can contribute to dry mouth.


You may think that dry mouth is a minor nuisance, but it can have a serious impact on your oral and overall health. Symptoms of dry mouth include:

  • Dryness or stickiness in your mouth
  • Thick and stringy saliva
  • Chronic bad breath (halitosis)
  • Difficulty swallowing, chewing and speaking
  • Dry or sore throat and tongue
  • A decrease in your sense of taste
  • Problems with dentures
  • Lipstick sticking to your teeth

If you’re experiencing symptoms of dry mouth, it’s important to see your Westmount dentist in Montreal to seek treatment right away. Ignoring it can lead to tooth decay, enamel erosion, gum disease, sores in the mouth, thrush, dry, cracked lips and poor digestion.


Dry mouth is fairly easy to treat with special mouthwashes or prescription medications. Drinking plenty of water and limiting consumption of alcohol, coffee, tea and tobacco will also help keep your mouth moist. Your Westmount dentist in Montreal can help you find the treatment that best fits your needs.