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Can Caffeine Make Dry Mouth Worse?

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Is coffee something that makes dry mouth symptoms better or worse?

Do you feel like it’s not a proper morning without a cup of coffee? Does your mood instantly perk up when that familiar smell of ground beans washes over you? Do you find yourself refilling your mug multiple times a day? First of all, you’re not alone. And second of all, coffee may have some health benefits.

So yes, while coffee is indeed #life for many, what if you suffer from dry mouth — is coffee something that will make symptoms better, or worse?

Dry Mouth and Caffeine

Whether it’s caused by certain medications or chemotherapy treatments, part of an autoimmune or chronic disease, or connected to hormonal changes, dry mouth can make daily life a bit uncomfortable. While the American Dental Association recommends people ease dry mouth symptoms by doing things like sipping water and chewing sugarless gum throughout the day, or using a specialized product to keep mouths moist, the ADA goes one step further and advises limiting caffeine consumption, too.

The reason for this is because caffeine has been shown to decrease saliva production, which is already lessened in people dealing with dry mouth. And yes, decaf coffee still contains caffeine, although in much smaller amounts.

Quitting Coffee (It’s Not That Bad!)

While you may be initially dismayed to read that coffee (and caffeinated beverages in general) can make dry mouth symptoms worse, you’re not the first person who’s considered weaning themselves off these magic beans.

If your dry mouth symptoms are uncomfortable enough to warrant easing yourself off of caffeine in general, make sure to do it slowly (maybe transition from regular coffee to decaf, and then wean yourself off of decaf) to ease withdrawal symptoms.

And if you’re someone who truly needs that jolt every once in a while (but still deals with dry mouth symptoms), consider keeping a product like Biotene Moisturizing Spray close by to ease the discomfort of your dry mouth symptoms!

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