Why do I have a dry tongue/mouth all the time? And what can I do about it?

I am recently diagnosed (haven't even started meds yet). Never since I had an allergic reaction to a sulfa drug (first time in my life), my tongue has been dry. For a while it was getting less dry and than it would go back and so forth. About two weeks, after I had the reactions (ended up in ER) I got the diabetes diagnosis, and my tongue is still dry. I have days where it isn't as dry but it is not normal. Things taste different (more bitter or metallic) esp. my water which I love drinking doesn't taste good to me any more. WAH! The only thing that helps if even for a few seconds or minutes is having a slice of a juicy fruit like grapefruit. The juice part helps the tongue feel better for a while and I get a little relief.

Is this because I an a new diabetic and my sugars are not controlled yet or is it something else? This all started around the same time as the diagnosis but I am sick of it already esp. how water doesn't help and things taste different. Insight please! I want my tongue back.

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When you say dry mouth…are you thirsty? Are your lips dry as well? There are many reasons why we can have dry mouth. And high blood (hyperglycemia) sugar can only be a one of them. That was my very first symptom when I was first diagnosed with diabetes. Although, there are others, to name a few: side effect of a certain medication (like asthma diskus pumps), autonomic neuropathy, smoking, dental cavities, mouth breathing, etc. Have you seen a dental professional? Until then, try to avoid liquids and foods with high sugar content. Funny because you said grapefruit gives you relief, but for dry mouth, I was asked to limit citrus juices (like orange, grapefruit, tomato), as well as diet sodas, avoid overly salty foods and avoid rinses containing alcohol.

I think it is to early to suspect other chronic conditions. Thus I am expecting that it will get better the more normal your blood glucose levels are. If the dry mouth is not going away after 2 months it might be another autoimmune disorder called Sjögren’s syndrome.

Dry tongue can be a sign of dehydration. If your electrolytes have become disturbed, that may also affect your ability to hydrate and retain water properly. Dry tongue can also be a symptom of highly elevated blood sugars. Your changes in taste could also be related to elevated blood sugars. Higher blood sugars can let bacteria grow at accelerated rates. Many diabetics struggle with the vicous cycle of high blood sugars feeding things like gum infections. You might try an oral irrigator and make an appointment with a dentist, particularly if it has been a while. If you end up with a mouth infection like thrush, it would explain all your symptoms. Being weakened and certainly diabetes could put you at risk for thrush. You can treat thrush at home by rinsing with 3% hydrogen peroxide. Spit it out and rinse with water afterwards, don’t swallow.

Let us know how it goes.

ps. You need to get a blood sugar meter and start testing at least once a day in the morning, and even better before dinner and 2hrs afterward.

No, I am not really thirsty at all. I have always normally drank a lot of water (at least 4 pints a day which is around the recommended amount for a person) because I think it is important to stay dehydrated and I like the taste of my filtered water - so clean and crisp. My lips aren’t really dry either. It really is mostly my tongue esp. towards the back more than the front. The side of my mouth feel moisturized. I must admit I haven’t been to the denist in a while because of no insurance and I want to go (I am moving soon so I will do this after I move). I did read that nurses give patients with dry mouth lemon to chew on because it stimulate the salivary glands maybe this is why this works for me. I don’t smoke or breathe with my mouth.But like I said this all started when I had that allergic reaction to a sulfa drug called Bactrim. I haven’t drunk sodas in like 10 years, not much salt lately, and I don’t use rinses in my mouth (only natural toothpaste).

Did your dry mouth eventually go away?

Thank you Holger. I think it is too early too for any damage for me. All of this just started for me. (a few weeks actually). I have heard of that Syndrome before.

Thanks bsc!

Yes, I do have the coating on the tongue. It comes and goes but I have had it for a year or so. Mostly towards the back of my tongue. It is candida (or thrush) I guess. It isn’t as bad as some of the pictures that I have been seeing on the web for thrush. But I think you might remember my post as I was in the urgent care recently for dehydration. I was so nausated that even brushing my teeth made me gag so I couldn’t clean my tongue like I normally do.

I do have meter and will start testing. My living situation is very tense and stressful right now. I have been really week so it is difficult for me to do things. I am feeling a bit better but my bf is not supportive and I have to get out of here asap but I have cats and things to move so I can’t just bust out of here. All of these is impedeing my ability to have a schedule with testing and such and even having a normal meal schedule.

Thanks for the advice on the thrush. I have had a the coating on my tongue for a while but it never made my tongue dry before. Although, I know I have had candida is some shape or form for many years now and unsuccessful at getting rid of it. When I get a new doctor back home, I will ask about it more specifially.