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What Are the Most Common Causes of Dry Mouth and Dizziness?

Dehydration is a major cause of dry mouth and dizziness.
Low blood pressure can cause dry mouth and dizziness.
Dry mouth and dizziness can be side effects brought on by medications.
For most people, dizziness involves feeling weak and lightheaded.
A rough dry tongue may accompany dry mouth syndrome.
Excessive sweating may cause dry mouth and dizziness.
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  • Written By: Jessica F. Black
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 27 July 2014
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The most common causes of dry mouth and dizziness are dehydration, anxiety, treatments for certain types of cancer, side effects brought on by various medications, and low blood pressure. Signs of dry mouth include a sore tongue, trouble swallowing, trouble tasting, decreased saliva, and possibly pain when consuming salt and acid based foods. Dizziness can have a range of signs that are different for most individuals, but generally involve feeling disoriented, lightheaded, and weak. Persistent dry mouth and dizziness should immediately be reported to a medical professional for diagnosis.

Dehydration usually occurs when the body's water intake is drastically lower than the amount of water the body releases. There are many causes for dehydration, including diabetes, sweat from heat or physical exertion, vomiting, diarrhea, and no readily available water. The lack of water in the body produces a number of symptoms. Water is a vital element, making up over 70% of the body's weight, that allows the human body to function properly. The loss of water can directly cause disorientation, bodily weakness, and a lack of saliva.

People experience anxiety issues for a number of different reasons, but many of the physical symptoms are similar. Excessive sweating and rapid breathing can lead to dry mouth and dizziness. There are some treatments that people can try at home to relieve anxiety symptoms, such as a healthy diet, additional water, breathing exercises, and relaxation techniques. There are different levels of anxiety attacks, and severe attacks usually require medical attention.

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Low blood pressure can sometimes be caused by dehydration, pregnancy, and heart condition. Many people who suffer from low blood pressure also experience other symptoms such as blurred vision, fatigue, or fainting. Chemotherapy and radiation treatments, in addition to many medications, list dry mouth and dizziness as possible side effects. The patient should inform his or her healthcare provider if any side effects occur.

There are various treatments for these symptoms, including both home solutions and prescribed medications. Foods that require chewing, such as apples, carrots, and meats, can promote salivation. There are also chemical solutions and oral medications prescribed for dry mouth symptoms. Lifestyle changes, such as improving sleep patterns, nutrition, exercise, and work habits, are often suggested to patients who suffer from dizziness, and a recurrence is usually treated with prescription medications. Medical professionals generally diagnose patients based on their symptoms, medical history, blood work, and tests.

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Discuss this Article

geekish
Post 13

I felt pretty physically dizzy and all-around bad, but I felt even worse because the staff had to help clean me up, because they were not aloud to let me get up, or even move much, until my blood pressure climbed higher.

Then the nurse had to buy me a soda for the high sugar content, so that my blood glucose level would rise, and so would my blood pressure. I also drank lots of water and high protein snack to help get my blood pressure up and my body stable.

After an hour of my blood pressure barely going up, the soda, along with the water and high protein snack, finally kicked into my body and gave me the boost and nutrients needed to safely make it home. Thank God for the great staff there, otherwise I would have had to take myself to my doctor or to the emergency room of a hospital.

Feeling dizzy, light-headed, tingly and/or numb, and nauseous are all signs of low blood pressure, and possibly much worse, so if you experience any of these symptoms for more than a few minutes and/or on a regular basis, please seek professional help as soon as possible.

geekish
Post 12

I used to donate blood plasma almost every week. You have to make sure you are excessively hydrated to give plasma. You also have to make sure you eat a very healthy, high protein diet at least twenty-four hours before your plasma donation.

I think some people's bodies are just not meant to give plasma away though, because I mostly tried to drink a lot of water, and eat a lot of high-protein, high-calorie food, yet I almost always felt a little dizzy at least by the end of my donation.

There were actually four separate occasions that I felt so light-headed, tingly, and dizzy that I had to have the staff help me feel back to normal. My blood pressure had rapidly dropped on these four occasions, so the head nurse had to check my blood pressure every fifteen minutes until my blood pressure rose to the normal, healthy range my body is used to.

One time I not only felt dizzy and light-headed, but nauseous as well. I didn't want to bother any of the staff about it, as I hoped that the sick feeling would soon pass, so I tried to just suck up the pain and deal with it. I ended vomiting on myself because of trying to be "tough" and to “tough it out”.

Sara007
Post 11

Can anyone tell me what causes dry mouth in children?

My daughter has been a bit woozy the last few days and is complaining that she can't get enough to drink. I am starting to wonder if she might be showing dehydration symptoms, even though she seems to be drinking a lot.

We have a doctor's appointment scheduled, and I am hoping I can do something that would at least work as a dry mouth treatment so my girl isn't so uncomfortable. I would prefer a natural method if possible, as I don't like the idea of giving medication to my kids without a doctor seeing them first.

letshearit
Post 10

If you like to workout it is always a good idea to make sure you know dehydration symptoms when they occur. A little while ago I had just finished a intense workout and suddenly felt dizzy. I had been fighting off the symptoms of dry mouth, and I though that sipping water would be enough but I guess I really made a mess of my system.

I guess I just didn't think about the fact that the previous week I had been sick and lost a lot of fluids. I ended up seeing my doctor because I couldn't feel better and they ended up giving me an IV to get everything back in balance.

SZapper
Post 9

@starrynight - That sounds unpleasant. I have a good friend who has anxiety, and her symptoms are pretty similar to yours.

One other (gross) thing that can cause dry mouth and dizziness is the stomach flu. The last time I had the stomach flu, right before I got sick my mouth got really dry and I started feeling really dizzy. I tried drinking water to alleviate the dry mouth, but unfortunately it didn't help me feel any better.

starrynight
Post 8

I have anxiety, and the article is correct: anxiety is definitely one of the dry mouth causes. And of course, panic attacks cause dizziness as well.

It's interesting though, I never realized that dry mouth can be caused by hyperventilating. I was aware that hyperventilation causes dizziness, but I didn't think it had anything to do with the dry mouth. It makes a lot of sense though, because if you're breathing rapidly, you have a lot of air coming in and out of your mouth. It's only natural that it would cause your mouth to be dry.

One thing that really helps me with these symptoms is breathing exercises. When I have a panic attack, I try to slow my breathing down and take nice, slow deep breaths.

OeKc05
Post 7

My sister's job was causing her a ton of anxiety. She had to make presentations often, and she despised talking in front of people. Her mouth became dry as she spoke, and this made it hard for her to articulate her words.

She started chewing apple slices right before she had to speak. She peeled the apple so that only the juicy parts remained.

Though she generally did get dry mouth near the end of her speech, it helped her make it through the roughest part. Her boss noticed an improvement in her presentations, and this gave her more confidence. After about a year of working there, she stopped getting dry mouth.

kylee07drg
Post 6

@StarJo – I was taking a diuretic to treat my high blood pressure, and it caused dry mouth and dizziness. Partly, this was because it made me urinate every thirty minutes, so I lost a lot of fluids. I tried to keep up with it by drinking a ton of water, but I just couldn't shake the dry mouth, and I became dehydrated.

Also, the diuretic made my blood pressure dip dangerously low. Because of this, I felt weak and like I could pass out at any moment. One time, I had to pull over while I was driving because I became so dizzy that things started to shift around in my vision.

lighth0se33
Post 5

I work out in my garden during the summer months, when the heat is sweltering. When I get dry mouth and dizziness, I know it is time to go inside and cool off with a big glass of water.

I get really into what I'm doing, and I lose track of time. Before I know it, an hour has passed, and I'm covered in sweat. When I stand up, I almost tip over with dizziness. I realize that I am super thirsty, so I stop.

I drink an alarming amount of water when I feel this way. I have to lie down on the cool hardwood floor to make the dizziness go away. As it slowly saps the heat from my body, I start to feel normal again.

SarahSon
Post 4

Many people are concerned about high blood pressure, but I have low blood pressure. This is one of the causes for dry mouth and dizziness that is often over looked.

In addition to the low blood pressure, I also have low blood sugar. If I wait too long to eat between meals, I get dizzy and light headed.

Because of both of these conditions I suffer from dry mouth and dizziness from time to time. The biggest thing for me is to be aware of what my body is telling me and make sure I eat on a regular basis.

At this point mine can be controlled with proper eating and making sure I get the right amount of exercise.

StarJo
Post 3

Diuretics can cause both of these symptoms. I started taking one awhile back, and I had to stop because of the extreme dry mouth and dizziness it caused.

Even right after I took a sip of water, my mouth was dry again. Generally, I needed to drink about a fourth of a bottle of water at once to even begin to quench my thirst.

Every time I drank, it felt as though I hadn't drank anything for hours. I was as thirsty as I would have been if I had been working outside in the heat for hours with no liquid.

I had trouble concentrating at work, because I was so dizzy. I kept having to put my head down on my desk to make the spinning stop.

I decided that it wasn't worth it. The medicine was making my life miserable, and it made me feel far worse than I had before.

Mykol
Post 2

I know you can have a dry mouth for many reasons, but our solution was a simple one.

In the winter we realized we would wake up in the morning with an extremely dry mouth. I figured it was because the air in our house was so dry with the heater running all the time.

When I bought a small humidifier and ran that in our room at night, it made a big difference. Just getting some extra moisture in the air as we slept took care of the problem for us.

honeybees
Post 1

When my husband kept complaining of having a dry mouth and being thirsty all the time, the first thing I thought of was diabetes.

I knew that a dry mouth and diabetes were common as you always had a constant thirst. What even made me more concerned was that when he had his previous physical his blood sugar levels were on the high side.

No matter how much water he drank, he still felt dehydrated and couldn't get rid of his chronic dry mouth.

When he had his glucose levels checked they were even higher than they had been before, and he started exercising and losing weight.

This was a wake-up call for him because he didn't want to start taking any medication for it and this caused him to make some major lifestyle changes.

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