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

Amusement park rides can cause dry mouth and nausea.
Smoking can cause dry mouth and stomach problems.
Some women experience nausea, called "morning sickness," during the early stages of pregnancy.
Article Details
  • Written By: A.E. Freeman
  • Edited By: Kathryn Hulick
  • Last Modified Date: 20 April 2014
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Dry mouth and nausea are caused by a number of different diseases, treatments, or personal habits. Sometimes they occur together, for example as a side effect of chemotherapy. Other issues, such as diarrhea, a fever, or pregnancy may cause one problem but not the other.

When a person has dry mouth, she may experience bad breath, feel hoarse or want to drink a lot of water. Dry mouth may make it hard to speak or swallow. Nausea is generally a feeling that comes before a person vomits. A person can feel nauseous without actually vomiting, though. Nausea followed by vomiting can lead to dry mouth, especially if a person becomes dehydrated from vomiting.

Diarrhea, a fever, or sweating can also lead to dry mouth if a person becomes dehydrated. A person can also develop dry mouth if he frequently breathes through his mouth and not his nose, such as when he has a cold. Smoking and using tobacco products can also cause a person to experience dry mouth.

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Dry mouth and nausea may be caused by factors beyond a person's control. Someone going through chemotherapy is likely to experience both dry mouth and nausea. The chemicals used in chemotherapy to destroy the cancer can also damage a person's salivary glands, especially if the person is undergoing treatment for cancer on the neck or head. Nausea is also likely during chemotherapy, particularly if the patient is a woman under the age of 50. If a patient suffers nausea during chemotherapy, her doctor may be able to give her medication to prevent it.

Other medications sometimes cause dry mouth and nausea, including pain medicines such as ibuprofen, anti-depressants, and antibiotics. Medicine for patients with HIV/AIDs or Parkinson's disease may also lead to dry mouth. A patient who experiences extremely unpleasant dry mouth or nausea may ask her doctor to adjust the dose she receives or switch her to a different medication.

Nausea can also occur when a person is in the early stages of pregnancy. Many women experience morning sickness, which is nausea followed by vomiting, when they first wake up or when their blood sugar is low during the first few months of their pregnancy. Intense emotions such as fear and excitement can also make a person feel queasy. Nausea can also strike as a result of motion sickness when a person is riding on a plane, boat or amusement park ride.

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Discuss this Article

tlcJPC
Post 3

I don’t know about dry mouth, but I’m always most dizzy when I get on a boat or a ferry. Yuk!

All the regular stuff that is supposed to prevent nausea never work for me when I hit the water!

blackDagger
Post 2

Good grief, I don’t know if I’ve ever been so sick in my whole life as I was the time that I picked up this bug - which must have bred other bugs.

Apparently it was not a virus because my doctor gave me a really strong antibiotic to help knock it out.

I had a really bad sinus infection, bronchitis, strep – anything in that general area of the body was just not doing too well at the time. So my doc gave me some samples and sent me home to rest.

Gees’ – she could have warned me that the meds she give me were going to make me as sick as the other stuff I already had. I was so nauseous and dizzy after I took that stuff!

It was a five day pack, and by the time I finished with it the dry mouth, nausea, and dizziness were almost as bad as the symptoms I had before I started the round!

Agni3
Post 1

When I was younger than I am now – and I’m certainly not decrepit yet – I decided that I was going to be cool and try smoking.

I have no idea what makes people want to try this more than once.

It only took a couple before I turned three shades of green and had a case of dry mouth that wouldn’t quit. I tried to keep doing the ever impressive, “Nah, I’m alright. Nah, nah – I’m not sick on my stomach, man.”

I think I was far less cool when I puked right there in front of all of my smoker friends…

That certainly left a bad taste in my mouth and the nausea stayed a little while longer just to remind me that smoking was not good for my health - or my image.

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