Dhanashree-profile-picture
By Dhanashree Padhye

MA (Psychology)

11 October 2022
Medically reviewed by
Dhanashree Padhye
MA (Psychology)
Can Anxiety Cause Dry Mouth?
Table of Contents

Dry mouth, chronic dry mouth (xerostomia), a lack of saliva, bad breath, dry throat, increased thirst, and a dry and sticky tongue are common symptoms of anxiety disorder, including anxiety and panic attacks. Any problem that interferes with the salivary glands' functioning will lead to a dry mouth, as these glands must function well.

 

Three groups were created to see the effect of salivary flow in patients with depression and Anxiety. One thousand two hundred two individuals showed a flow rate under 0.1ml/min of salivary and xerostomia/ dry mouth. (Bergdahl and Bergdahl 2021)

State-Trait Anxiety Inventory questionnaire (STAI) was used and disclosed different results in 64 dental and medical students. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to assess the physiological stress marker, cortisol. Researchers found that salivary proteins that increase with tha acute stress did not affect the salivary flow rate linked to public speaking. (Naumova et al. 2012) The differences indicated that the salivary gland's function might be influenced by gender and age.

Di Loreto 2013 compared two groups of 46 students (with and without Anxiety) to see their effect on stressful stimuli.The results of the Taylor Manifest Anxiety Scale (TMAS) and Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) indicated a significant relationship between cortisol levels and increased salivation.

When you feel anxious, you are more likely to breathe through your mouth. You may take a breath less deeply as it becomes difficult to breathe through your mouth. Our Anxiety can cause hyperventilation and rapid breathing resulting in a dry mouth.

People with Anxiety may go through, Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid comes up into your throat, causing a dry mouth.

Symptoms of Dry Mouth Anxiety

  • Increasingly dry mouth
  • Reduced saliva than normal
  • Finding it challenging to swallow due to lack of saliva
  • Feeling dry or sticky tongue
  • Having problems with your breath
  • Having issues/difficulties while chewing, speaking  
  • Facing issues while wearing your dentures (Tomohisa Ohno, Ryoko Itatsu 2019)
  • Not able to spit due to lack of saliva 

What Causes Dry Mouth ?

Each of us needs saliva to moisten our mouths and digest food daily. It controls the bacteria and fungi in the mouth and prevents infection. Our mouth gets dry and uneasy when we don't make enough saliva.

  • Medications: A lot of drugs are not prescribed by doctors. We might take them on a remedial basis, but these medications have side effects; one of them is dry mouth. Among them, medicines more likely to cause problems are drugs used for depression, Anxiety, and high blood pressure, as well as some antihistamines, muscle relaxants, and pain medications.
  • Aging: Most people will experience dry mouth symptoms as they start aging. Some factors responsible for xerostomia include using certain medications, changes in the body's ability to process those drugs, nutritional deficiency (N L Rhodus), and constant health issues.
  • Cancer therapy: There are drugs used for chemotherapy that may change the amount and nature of saliva produced, which can be temporary, and saliva flow will return to normal after treatment completion. Also, Radiation treatment may damage your salivary glands, causing a remarkable decrease in saliva production. It can be temporary or permanent, as the area treated and the radiation dose will play a vital role in this. 
  • Nerve damage: If you had any surgery or met with an accident and faced severe injury, it can result in a dry mouth since some nerves in the body transfer messages from the brain to salivary glands. When these nerves get damaged, it becomes difficult for salivary glands to make saliva, which leads to dry mouth/xerostomia.
  • Other health conditions: Some health conditions like diabetes, stroke and yeast infection may cause symptoms of dry mouth. Alzheimer's and certain autoimmune diseases, such as Sjorgen's syndrome or HIV/AIDS, can also lead to xerostomia. Breathing with an open mouth or snoring can also contribute to a dry mouth.
  • Tobacco and alcohol use: Some people drink large quantities of alcohol or have a habit of chewing tobacco. This increases the risk of developing dry mouth symptoms.
  • Recreational drug use: Methamphetamine is a stimulant that affects the central nervous system. It can cause rapid breathing, Anxiety, and severe dental issues. It also causes itching, which leads to skin sores and dry mouth. Marijuana causes dry mouth since it also has an impact on our nervous system, which reduces the production of saliva.

Side Effects of Dry Mouth?

A deficiency of saliva plays a vital role in our well-being and may cause serious problems. When we maintain surroundings inside our mouth and keep our mouth moist, we are protecting ourselves from severe distress, dental issues, and other health issues.

Contrarily, Xerostomia may cause pain and health problems, directly affecting our quality of life. They include:

  • There is a development of plaque and gum disease 
  • Nutritional deficiency may occur since we are not able to swallow or chew
  • Oral thrush 
  • Mouth sores
  • Autoimmune disorders (Almis, B.H.2018)

When to see the Doctor?

  • If you observe severe symptoms, you should immediately see the Doctor.
  • Please visit your healthcare provider when you have HIV and dry mouth risk factors.
  • See your dentist for Tooth Decay.

Treatment 

Level Two recovery is one of the most effective treatments for Anxiety. Level One Recovery will include learning how Anxiety and stress affect our bodies. We also know that these symptoms are not very severe, or they will not lead to mental illness. We can eliminate those symptoms by using level one and level two recovery. 

Level Two recovery will identify the cause of Anxiety and the factors responsible. When Level Two recovery was addressed, Anxiety as a disorder disappeared since you will understand the root cause of Anxiety, making it easier to eliminate those symptoms.

Follow These steps

  • Don't take decongestants for dry mouth
  • Take medication in the morning, 
  • Try easy-to-swallow formulas, such as liquids. 
  • Add moisture to the air at night 
  • Use a fluoride rinse 
  • Try a mouthwash designed for dry mouth

Apps for Anxiety

We may travel by train, bus, or cab, and suddenly we start to feel anxious, nervous or have a dry throat. In such times, we can use these apps to calm our Anxiety. These are the instant remedies for Anxiety.

Takeaway

We can experience dry mouth symptoms due to the side effects of certain medicines, aging, cancer therapy, nerve damage, health conditions, and alcohol and tobacco use. Other causes, like Dehydration, Mouth-breathing, and Medical conditions, are also responsible for causing dry mouth symptoms.

There are specific side effects like oral thrush, mouth sores, and others, but they can be treated with the help of therapy. We can also use apps like Headspace, Calm, Breathe2Relax, Stop, Breathe & Think to deal with Anxiety.

What's on your mind?

Start a conversation, Post with kindness.