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Learn about your dry mouth, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your dry mouth from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

Dry Mouth Checker

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Your Dry Mouth May Also be Known as:
Mouth dryness
Thirsty

Top 8 Dry Mouth Causes

  1. 1.Generalized Anxiety Disorder (Gad)

    Anxiety is a common emotion from time to time; however, persistent, excessive, and unrealistic worrying are signs of generalized anxiety disorder. Generalized anxiety disorder is diagnosed when a person worries more days than not for at least six months and has symptoms like fatigue, muscle tension, difficulty concentrating, and irritability.

    You should visit your primary care physician to further discuss your symptoms. It is likely you will be referred to a mental health professional. Your doctor will likely recommend talk therapy and/or antidepressant medication.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, trouble sleeping, irritability, nausea, general anxiety (stress)
    Symptoms that always occur with generalized anxiety disorder (gad):
    general anxiety (stress)
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  2. 2.Burning Mouth Syndrome

    Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is a chronic pain syndrome defined as having a burning pain or sensation in your mouth without a cause that can be found. It happens way more often in women (7 times more likely), typically during times of hormonal changes (just before or during menopause). While no one has identified the cause, it could have to do with the makeup of saliva, damage from dentures, tics or teeth grinding, infections, and even autoimmune diseases.

    You should go to your primary care doctor in the next few weeks. There, the doctor will rule out other causes of your pain. If it is indeed burning mouth syndrome, there are a few medications you can take. However, treatment is often not successful.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    dry mouth, changed sense of taste, moderate mouth pain, tongue pain, burning sensation in the mouth
    Symptoms that always occur with burning mouth syndrome:
    burning sensation in the mouth, tongue pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  3. 3.Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (Copd)

    COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a chronic condition of the lungs and the airways in the lungs. Damage has occured due to long-term exposure to substances that irritate and damage the lungs, such as cigarette smoke or air pollution. This damage can cause symptoms like shortness of breath, decreased exercise tolerance and cough. A common cold or other types of infection can cause symptoms to worden acutely, this is called an exacerbation.

    Though there is no medication for COPD that has demonstrated the ability to reverse the decreasing long-term lung function associated with the disease, your doctor will be able to provide you with next steps for managing the disease. Some possible next steps include cessation of smoking, pulmonary rehabilitation and inhalation medication.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, cough, shortness of breath, trouble sleeping, anxiety
    Symptoms that always occur with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (copd):
    hidden: any cardinal symptom copd
    Symptoms that never occur with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (copd):
    rectal bleeding
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  4. 4.Obstructive Sleep Apnea

    Sleep apnea is a disorder in which the upper airway is obstructed during sleep, which causes poor sleep quality and frequent awakening.

    You should visit your primary care physician within a few weeks to discuss your symptoms. The physician will likely order a sleep test to confirm the diagnosis.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, irritability, daytime sleepiness, trouble sleeping, sore throat
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

    Dry Mouth Checker

    Take a quiz to find out why you’re having dry mouth.

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  5. 5.Chronically Dry Eyes

    Dry eye syndrome (medically known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca), occurs when there is a problem with the thin film of tears that keeps the eye moist and lubriated. This is a condition that can affect people of all ages, but becomes more common as one gets older. The causes include aging, some medications, increased evaporation of tears (due to low humidity in the air, low blink frequency, wearing contact lenses, or windy conditions), and underlying illness in rare cases.

    You can safely treat this condition on your own with artificial tears, which come as eye drops and gels, and are usually great at relieving symptoms. You can purchase these at a pharmacy. You might want to consider consulting your primary care physician (PCP) if over-the-counter remedies don't help.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    dry eyes, dry mouth, feeling of something in the eye, eye pain, sensitivity to light
    Symptoms that always occur with chronically dry eyes:
    dry eyes
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  6. 6.Dental Cavity

    Dental cavities are bacterial infections of the tooth. The bacteria produce acid that breaks down the tooth.

    You should visit your dentist within the next 24 hours. Once a toothache presents, the tooth might already be in big trouble, and it needs attention right away.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    dry mouth, toothache, tooth pain that makes chewing difficult, pain in the top row of teeth, tooth pain that gets worse with hot, cold, or sweet beverages
    Symptoms that never occur with dental cavity:
    spontanenous tooth pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  7. 7.Severe Cavity

    Dental cavity requiring a root canal or tooth extraction.

    You should go see your dentist as soon as possible. If this cavity worsens, it could cause an abscess (big infection)!

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    dry mouth, toothache, spontanenous tooth pain
    Symptoms that always occur with severe cavity:
    spontanenous tooth pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  8. 8.Side - Effect(s) of Radiation Therapy to the Head and Neck

    Radiation therapy is a common treatment for cancer and more than half of cancer patients will undergo a form of this treatment. The radiation attacks cell DNA in order to prevent the cells from growing more and kills them.

    You should speak with your care team about these symptom(s).

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    sore throat, hoarse voice, dry mouth, changed sense of taste, mouth pain
    Symptoms that always occur with side-effect(s) of radiation therapy to the head and neck:
    current radiation therapy to the head or neck
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Dry Mouth

  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?
  • Q.Have you experienced any nausea?
  • Q.Do you currently smoke?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, check our dry mouth symptom checker.

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Dry Mouth Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced dry mouth have also experienced:

    • 7% Fatigue
    • 3% Headache
    • 3% Nausea
  • People who have experienced dry mouth were most often matched with:

    • 4% Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (Copd)
    • 2% Generalized Anxiety Disorder (Gad)
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

Dry Mouth Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having dry mouth.

Take a quiz