Dry Mouth

Over the past weekend I came down with strep throat and am on penicillin. Today is my fifth day on the antibiotic and for the most part I am feeling better (although every now and then I feel a little feverish, etc). Although this is not my largest problem.

When I sleep its not uncommon to wake up thirsty with a dry mouth. However since I moved into my dorm at college it has been a daily occurrence. This leads me to believe that my dorm may be very dry and that something like a humidifier may help.

The problem is that since I’ve started on the penicillin the dry mouth has been occurring VERY often and not while I am sleeping. When I do fall asleep I will wake up every few hours with a riciulously dry mouth. At some points it even occurs every 5 minutes. I’ve never had this problem before. So my basic question is can strep throat/penicillin cause my salivary glands to shut down? I don’t want to stop my penicillin before my time is up, so I plan on just toughing it out until Sunday. What causes dry mouth and can I do anything to cure it (besides sipping water)?

I know about asking for medical advice on the board, but i’m merely looking for help and suggestions. Should it be an actual problem I will certainly return to my doctor.

Well, you can buy something called “artificial saliva” or “saliva substitute”. It’s electrolytes in a slightly viscous solution (sticky, the consistence of spit), sweetened a little with sorbitol. Ask the pharmacist. They sell it for cancer patients, and also because it helps prevent tooth decay–if you have a chronically dry mouth, your saliva isn’t doing its job helping keep your teeth washed down, so artificial saliva helps.

There are a lot of things that can cause dry mouth. Finish the antibiotic and see if it goes away next week.

Not fingering penicillin specifically, but…
“…[M]edications are one of the most common factors in cases of dry mouth.”