Visit StopPain.org Visit StopPain.org
Net of Care, Information and Resources for Caregivers
Caregiving Find Help E-Newsletter Caregiver Resource Directory
magnifying glass  
Print This Page

Symptom Management

Dry Mouth

The sensation of a dry mouth, in medical terminology known as xerostomia, is a common symptom in palliative care.

A dry mouth can be caused by:

Dehydration
Erosion of the mucous membrane lining the mouth
Depression or anxiety
Chemotherapy or radiotherapy for cancer
Many medications, including some pain relievers, antidepressants, diuretics and tranquilizers

The sensation of a dry mouth can sometimes be relieved by simple measures, including:

Drinking lots of fluids
Good oral hygiene
Providing humidified air
Sucking on ice or vitamin C tablets
Chewing sugarless gum

If necessary, other treatments can include:

Artificial saliva, provided in a spray form
Pilocarpine

 

Beth Israel - Continuum Health Partners Logo bullet Home bullet Contact Us bullet Privacy Policy bullet Disclaimer bullet Site Map
The Family Caregiver Program and NetofCare.org are generously supported by the Altman Foundation.
©2003-2005 Continuum Health Partners, Inc.