What Conditions Contribute to Xerostomia?

As people age, medical conditions, and the accompanying medications used to manage disease, increase the risk for salivary gland malfunction and chronic dry mouth. By far, the most common cause of dry mouth is prescription medication. Medicines used to control high blood pressure, depression, allergy symptoms, and a host of other medications used to treat a plethora of medical problems can alter the functioning of salivary glands. The increase in xerostomia complaints among elderly people may be due to a synergistic effect that occurs when aging adults take multiple medications.1 Take a look at the extensive list of medications included in the accompanying chart that contribute to dry mouth. Probably more than 400 medications can cause the salivary glands to produce less saliva. Keep in mind the more medications you take, the greater your chance of dry mouth syndrome and the greater the chance of being deprived of the protective barrier against microbial invasion and overgrowth from saliva. Sometimes, medical conditions can contribute to or cause dry mouth as discussed in the following sections.