A dry mouth can be caused by decreased fluid intake, certain medications, aging, and treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation. It can also be a sign of stress. Your salivary glands, for these or other reasons, cannot keep your mouth moist, which can lead to oral health problems.
Saliva prevents infection by controlling bacteria in the mouth, and without enough saliva, plaque builds up on your teeth much faster. You can develop tooth decay or other infections in the mouth.
Sjogren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system targets moisture-producing glands and causes dryness in the mouth and eyes. The majority of those afflicted are women in their late 40s. Difficult to diagnose, you may experience dryness in the eyes and mouth combined with fatigue and joint pain, and the symptoms are typical of the natural aging process.
To ease discomfort, you may want to avoid alcohol, caffeine and smoking. Dry or salty foods, as well as citrus juices can have an adverse effect. Remember to drink plenty of water and brush and floss regularly.