The condition called dry mouth is known in medical circles as Xerostomia. As one might expect, the sufferer complains of a constant sensation of thirst or dryness in the mouth caused by a lack of saliva. People with dry mouth may become accustomed to the sensation after a while, but the condition remains. In spite of its seeming triviality, dry mouth is a condition that should not be ignored because it may indicate other physical illnesses or health complications.
Xerostomia can be defined as persistent lack of saliva production, even after drinking water and other fluids. Dry mouth due to dehydration is cured by drinking fluides, and proper saliva function should be restored within a day. If the saliva gland will not function despite the proper intake of nutrition and fluid, then one can be diagnosed as having Xerostomia due to malfunction of the saliva gland.
Dry mouth creates problems when trying to speak, and eating becomes difficult without saliva to moisten and break down food. Saliva also creates a slightly acidic environment that deters bacterial growth and contains enzymes and calcium fragments that repairs minerals dissolved from the teeth. Thus with reduced saliva production, chronic dry mouth sufferers are at a greater risk of getting dental cavities.
Dry mouth may be caused by physical conditions such as traumatic damage to the saliva gland, or by diabetes, and/or medicine. The elderly often suffer dry mouth, both because of disease and decreased of silva gland function. Dry mouth can also be caused by many contaminants, ranging from bacteria to drugs. This includes the excessive consumption of alcohol, marijuana, and higher doses of methamphetamine. Drinking water that is tainted with chemicals and or traces of pharmaceutical drugs can also cause or exasperate the problem.
Dry mouth in most cases is caused by a physical problem, or the result of drugs. On the other hand, water is such an integral part of every aspect of human health that contaminated water may indeed play a role in this condition. The largest culprit may be microbes in drinking water. Many bacteria and viruses can cause dehydration. Should bacteria infect the gut, fluids lost to elimination must be replaced, and even then the body may respond by denying fluid to non-essential bodily tissues. If diarrhea is the cause, then the more immediate concern is dehydration. Dry mouth will be an almost ignorable nuisance.
Bacteria can also infect the mouth itself, and strange health conditions can arise from drinking water infected with microbes. It is a good idea to never drink from a stream, or from a poorly maintained tap or well water source. Well water is typically not contaminated by the same germs as surface water, but if it has a bad smell, then discard the soured water. Some chemicals, such as pesticide runoff may play a role, but dry mouth in this case is but a side effect of poisoning, and finding treatment for poison is a greater concern. Metal poisoning may be another possibility, but many other symptoms will likely arise before dry mouth. A quality water purification system will remove most chemicals, microbes and heavy metals from tap or well water which will help alleviate and potentially cure dry mouth.