“Dry mouth,” which is technically known as “xerostomia,” is characterized by a persistent lack of saliva production. This problem is not as minor as it may seem since saliva helps prevent tooth decay (by washing away food and plaque) and minerals found in saliva help repair early tooth decay. Saliva, which neutralizes acids in the mouth, also limits bacterial growth that can dissolve tooth enamel or lead to infections. For all these reasons, cases of dry mouth should be brought to the dentist’s attention. Dry mouth was once thought to be a part of aging, but it is now recognized that xerostomia is actually related to the medications taken by older individuals, and not to age.
P.S. Among the many drugs that cause dry mouth are those prescribed for high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, allergies, weight loss, Parkinson’s disease, and pain.