If the salivary glands do not produce enough saliva you get dry mouth. Reasons that lead to inappropriate functioning of salivary gland include:
- Medications: Side effects of certain medications can cause dry mouth. Some commonly used medications that can cause dry mouth are antihistamines, decongestants, pain killers, diuretics and medicines for control of high blood pressure and depression.
- Disease: Systemic diseases can affect the salivary glands as well. Some common diseases which can cause dry mouth include diabetes, Hodgkin's disease, Parkinson's disease, HIV/AIDS and Sjogren's syndrome.
- Radiation therapy: Radiation for cancer in the head or neck can damage the salivary gland and cause dry mouth.
- Chemotherapy: Medication for treatment of cancer can make saliva thicker, or "ropey," and cause dry mouth.
- Menopause: Change in hormones during menopause can affect the salivary glands and cause dry mouth in menopausal and post-menopausal women
- Smoking: People who smoke cigar and heavy cigarette may have dry mouth.
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