Dry mouth (xerostomia) may not be as common as bad breath, but millions of people struggle with it and many develop bad breath as a result. If you suffer from dry mouth, you know it can wreak havoc on your life. The good news is dry mouth is preventable and treatable, but first the underlying cause(s) need to be identified. The factors contributing to dry mouth vary from person to person. In some cases, common prescription or over-the-counter medications may be the primary culprit. If this is the case, you should talk to your physician about alternative drugs. You'll likely be surprised by some of the other causes – from oral hygiene products containing drying agents to an array of health conditions. Believe it or not, daily habits including smoking, drinking, personal hygiene, and even how you sleep also play a role in the development of dry mouth. It's important to understand dry mouth is not just a nuisance – when left untreated over a period of time, it can lead to many problems including tooth decay and even the loss of teeth tied to gum disease.