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Reprinted from Medical News Today
Dry mouth occurs when there is not enough saliva in the mouth.
According to the NIDDK, people with dry mouth may experience:
In addition, the American Dental Association (ADA) note that dry mouth may involve:
The NIDDK list dry mouth among the most common problems that people living with diabetes experience.
Its high prevalence in this population may be due to:
Also, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine, approximately two-thirds of those with diabetes have high blood pressure or use medications to help control hypertension. Dry mouth can occur as a side effect of these medications.
According to a 2014 reviewTrusted Source, dry mouth can be a warning sign of diabetes. However, although it is common in those with diabetes, it is not the only symptom.
A person may potentially experience several symptoms due to diabetes, including:
Although both type 1 and type 2 diabetes have similar symptoms, the NIDDK state that they do not develop in the same way.
They note that while people who develop type 1 diabetes usually experience a fast onset of symptoms, people living with type 2 diabetes tend to see a gradual onset of symptoms, which they may not notice until another complication develops, such as blurred vision.
People who experience dry mouth as a result of medication can ask a doctor about the possibility of switching medications. Managing any underlying conditions — for example, keeping blood sugar levels within a safe range to control diabetes — may also help.
Healthcare professionals can also prescribe medications to stimulate saliva production. These includeTrusted Source pilocarpine (Isopto Carpine), which has a typical dosage of 5 milligrams (mg) three times a day, and cevimeline (Evoxac), which has a typical dosage of 30 mg three times a day.
A person will need to take these medications for 3 months to ensure that they are working.
A person can also try saliva substitutes that come in the form of gels, sprays, and lozenges. However, the authors of a 2020 articleTrusted Source note that these do not work reliably and that when they do, they only provide temporary relief.
The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research recommend that a person take the following steps to minimize the symptoms of dry mouth:
Diabetes and the medications that doctors use to treat it are not the only reasons why a person may experience dry mouth.
Researchers state that xerostomia most commonlyTrusted Source occurs as a side effect of over-the-counter and prescription medications, including:
It can also occur due to autoimmune conditions, such as:
Other possible causes include:
The ADA note that saliva plays several important roles in the mouth, which include:
The NIDDK recommend that people take several steps to help keep their mouth healthy, including:
A person should contact a doctor if they develop symptoms of dry mouth that do not resolve. Diabetes is one of several potential causes that a doctor can help rule out.
In some cases, medications may be the cause. In these cases, a person can talk with a doctor about switching medications. It is essential not to stop taking a prescription medication without consulting a doctor first.
People with diabetes have a higher chance of experiencing dry mouth than those without this condition. In some cases, dry mouth may be the result of diabetes medication.
However, other health conditions and medications can cause dry mouth, so it is not necessarily a sign of diabetes.
A person should talk with a doctor if they develop persistent dry mouth. The doctor can determine the cause and suggest the best course of action.