Xerostomia, or dry mouth, is a common symptom of reduced or absent salivary secretion. It is most common in women and in aging populations. It is frequently observed as a side effect of various medications, including antihistamines, decongestants, tricyclic antidepressants, antihypertensives, and various anticholinergic medications. It may also occur with mouth breathing, neurologic disorders, radiation therapy to the head and neck, HIV infection, and autoimmune disorders. The saliva is thick, and the oral mucosal surfaces are dry;the tongue is commonly fissured and atrophic. The dry environment predisposes to candidiasis and dental caries.
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