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Mouth Feels Dry But Have Saliva | Our Guide to Causes and Remedies

It can be an uncomfortable feeling when your mouth feels dry but have saliva. The good thing is you're not alone. Many people experience this feeling, and various things can cause it. It's important to understand what might be causing this, as it can signify an underlying health condition. A few different things can cause your mouth to feel dry, even though you have saliva.

At Dr. Brite, we are passionate about helping people achieve optimal oral health. We believe that everyone deserves a smile they can be proud of, and we're here to help you get there.

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In this post, we'll take a look at what might be causing your mouth to feel dry even though you have excess saliva, and we'll also offer some tips on how to deal with it. Stay tuned.

Everything You Need to Know About Dry Mouth

Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, is when your mouth produces little to no saliva flow. It can be caused by various things, including certain medications, medical conditions, and treatments. Your salivary glands make saliva, which helps keep your mouth moist and comfortable. It also helps you swallow, digest food, and fight off infections. When your mouth is dry, it cannot be easy to do these things.

A dry mouth can be uncomfortable and may lead to difficulty in speaking, eating, and swallowing. It can also increase your risk of cavities and other oral health problems.

a woman with eating issue sitting at the table

Importance of Saliva in Your Body

Saliva is important for many reasons.

  • It keeps your mouth moist, making it easier to swallow, speak, and eat.

  • It also helps you to digest food and fight off infections.

  • Your saliva contains enzymes that help to break down food.

  • It also contains antibodies that help to protect you from infections.

Your salivary glands make saliva, mostly water but also contain electrolytes, mucus, enzymes, and antibodies.

There are three main types of salivary glands:

Parotid glands: These are located in front of each ear.

Submandibular glands: These are located below the mandible (jawbone).

Sublingual glands: These are located beneath the tongue.

There are also several smaller salivary glands located throughout the mouth.

The salivary glands' quantity and quality of saliva can be affected by many factors, including medications, medical conditions, and treatments.

various medications illustration

What Causes Dry Mouth?

A few different things can cause your mouth to feel dry, even though you have saliva.

Dehydration

When your body is dehydrated, it doesn't produce as much saliva. It can leave your mouth feeling dry, even though you may have a lot of saliva in your mouth.

If you're not drinking enough fluids, you may be dehydrated. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated. You can also drink other fluids like juice and milk.

Mouth Breathing

If you're a mouth breather, you may experience dry mouth. When you breathe through your mouth, it can cause your saliva to evaporate, leaving your mouth feeling dry. It's important to try and breathe through your nose as much as possible.

If your mouth breathes at night, you may want to consider using a humidifier in your bedroom. It can help add moisture to the air and prevent your saliva from evaporating.

a man sleeping

Medications

Medications can also cause your mouth to feel dry. If you're taking medication for a cold or allergies, you may experience dry mouth as a side effect.

Some medications can cause dry mouth as a side effect. These include antidepressants, high blood pressure medications, and diuretics. Talk to your doctor if you're taking any of these medications and experiencing dry mouth. They may be able to prescribe a different medication.

Underlying Health Conditions

Some underlying health conditions can cause dry mouth. These include:

  • Diabetes- When you have diabetes, your body doesn't produce enough saliva. It can leave your mouth feeling dry.

  • Sjogren's Syndrome- This condition causes your body to attack your saliva glands. It can lead to a decrease in saliva production and dry mouth.

  • Alzheimer's Disease- Alzheimer's disease can cause a decrease in saliva production. It can lead to dry mouth.

  • Damaged nerve- A damaged nerve can prevent your saliva glands from working properly. When this happens, you may experience a dry mouth.

  • Oral thrush- This is a fungal infection that can cause your mouth to feel dry.

If you have any of these underlying health conditions, it's important to talk to your doctor. They may be able to prescribe medication or give you other tips on dealing with your dry mouth.

a woman with dry mouth

Symptoms of Dry Mouth

In addition to feeling like your mouth is dry, you may also experience other symptoms. These can include:

  • Bad breath

  • A burning sensation in your mouth

  • Dry lips or cracked lips

  • Difficulty speaking

  • Difficulty swallowing

  • A hoarse voice

Tips for Dealing with Dry Mouth

You can do a few things to treat dry mouth and keep your teeth healthy. These include:

Drink Plenty of Fluids

Make sure to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day to stay hydrated. It will help prevent your mouth from feeling dry. You also need to avoid spicy or salty foods, as these can make your mouth feel even drier.

two glasses of water with lime

Use a Mouthwash

Mouthwashes can help add moisture to your mouth and prevent your saliva from evaporating. Look for a mouthwash that contains xylitol or glycerin. These ingredients can help keep your mouth moist.

Chew Sugar-free Gum

Chewing gum can help stimulate saliva production. It's important to chew sugar free gum as chewing gum with sugar can cause cavities. It's also important to avoid gum with aspartame as it can cause a dry feeling in the mouth.

Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine

Alcohol can cause your mouth to feel dry. It contains sugar and can also cause your saliva to evaporate. Caffeine can also cause your mouth to feel dry as it's a diuretic. When you consume caffeine, it causes your body to lose fluids. It can leave your mouth feeling dry. If you're going to drink alcohol or caffeine, make sure to drink plenty of water.

a family in the room with humidifier

Use a Humidifier

Humidifiers can help add moisture to the air and prevent your saliva from evaporating. It can be especially helpful at night when you're sleeping.

Talk to Your Doctor

Talk to your doctor about your dry mouth if you're taking medication. They may be able to prescribe a different medication that doesn't cause dry mouth as a side effect. If you have an underlying health condition, talk to your doctor about treatment options.

Other home remedies you can try to help relieve your dry mouth include:

  • Ice cubes- Sucking on ice cubes can help add moisture to your mouth

  • Baking soda- Mixing baking soda with water can help create a paste that you can use to brush your teeth. It can help neutralize the acids in your mouth and prevent tooth decay.

  • Moisturizing lotion- Applying a moisturizing lotion to your lips can help prevent them from becoming dry and cracked.

  • Vitamin B complex supplements- Taking vitamin B complex can help increase saliva production.

a patient tolking to the doctor

Can a Dry Mouth Cause Tooth Decay

A dry mouth can also lead to tooth decay. When your mouth is dry, there's less saliva to protect your teeth from bacteria. It can lead to an increase in cavities. To prevent tooth decay, make sure to brush using anti-plaque toothpaste and floss your teeth regularly. You should also see your dentist for regular checkups.

FAQ

Q. Why is my mouth so dry, and my saliva is thick?

A. Many things can cause a dry mouth, including medications, medical conditions, and habits like smoking. If your saliva is thick, it could be due to dehydration or an infection.

Q. Why does my tongue feel dry, but it isn't?

A. If your tongue feels dry, it could be due to a medical condition, such as Sjogren's syndrome, or a side effect of medication.

Q. How can I get rid of the chronic dry mouth feeling?

A. There are many ways to treat dry mouth, including drinking plenty of fluids, mouthwash, chewing sugar-free gum, and avoiding alcohol and caffeine. You can also try using a humidifier or talking to your doctor about medication options.

Q. I have a dry mouth, but I also have a lot of saliva. Is this normal?

A. Yes, it's normal to have a dry mouth and an increase in saliva production. When your mouth is dry, your body produces more saliva to try and compensate. If you're concerned about the amount of saliva you're producing, talk to your doctor.

a woman lying on the floor with her mouth opened

Mouth Feels Dry But Have Saliva

If you're experiencing a dry mouth but have saliva, you likely have xerostomia. This condition can be caused by several factors, such as medications, radiation therapy, Sjogren's Syndrome, and more. While there are many potential causes for xerostomia, the good news is that treatments are available to help you manage your symptoms and feel better. Dr. Brite offers a variety of oral care products designed to help people with xerostomia live their best lives. If you're struggling with dry mouth symptoms, please visit our website today to learn more about our products and how they can help you feel better fast.

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