Bad breath is often a symptom of dry mouth -- a condition known as “xerostomia.” Other symptoms of this problem include saliva that seems thick, sores or split skin at the corners of your mouth, and difficulty speaking and swallowing,.
Most xerostomia is related to medication. More than 400 drugs can affect the salivary glands. These include drugs for urinary incontinence, allergies, high blood pressure, depression, diarrhea and Parkinson's disease. Also, some over-the-counter medications often cause dry mouth.
Tobacco, alcohol, drinks with caffeine, snoring and breathing with your mouth open can aggravate dry mouth.
There are ways to improve saliva flow. You can also sip water regularly, try over-the-counter saliva substitutes, avoid breathing through your mouth, and use a humidifier in your bedroom.
If you have dry mouth, you have to pay greater attention to your teeth. Brush your teeth with an extra-soft toothbrush after every meal and at bedtime. If brushing hurts, soften the bristles in warm water. Floss your teeth gently every day.