Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
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Dealing With Dry Mouth

Wednesday, 27 Jul 2011 09:11 AM


Question: What causes dry mouth and what can be done for it?

Dr. Hibberd's Answer:

Unless there is an underlying medical condition or a drug side effect, dry mouth is most commonly caused by excessive mouth-breathing. In the case of mouth-breathing, the mouth's natural production of saliva is inadequate to prevent the sensation of dry mouth.

Intrinsic chronic inadequate salivary gland secretion is less common although it does occur, especially in older patients or patients who have received chemotherapy or radiation treatments to the head and neck.

Treatment is aimed at correcting its cause, and sometimes all we offer is supplemental oral fluids. Some auto-immune disorders may be associated with a lack of saliva, but they are not very common. Most of all, many of the medications and supplements we use may cause dryness of mouth which eases once the drug is discontinued.



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