Get exclusive member benefits & effect social change. Join Today
Dry mouth—known medically as xerostomia—is a condition that occurs when saliva glands in the mouth don’t work properly, causing a parched feeling in the mouth. Other symptoms include a rough tongue, mouth sores, and cracked lips.
Saliva is a necessary part of the digestion process, as well as a major defense mechanism that your body needs to maintain good dental health. Saliva protects the mouth against gum disease and tooth decay. While not a serious medical condition, dry mouth can be a sign of a larger medical problem.
Dry mouth is usually a temporary and treatable condition. In most cases, it can be treated by doing on or more of the following:
Written by: the Healthline Editorial Team
Published on: Sep 07, 2010
Enter your symptoms in our Symptom Checker to find out possible causes of your symptoms. Go.
Enter any list of prescription drugs and see how they interact with each other and with other substances. Go.
Enter its color and shape information, and this tool helps you identify it. Go.
Find information on drug interactions, side effects, and more. Go.
From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.
Members can earn 50 points per $1 spent on select health & wellness products at Walgreens.
Members save 15% on easy listening devices and more at the HearUSA Hearing Shop.
Members save up to 60% on eye exams and 30% on glasses at Target Optical.
Brain boost? Get AARP email for access to memory exercises & more that help you focus.