Dry mouth is more than annoying, it can be cause for concern. Persistent dry mouth can affect your speech, your ability to swallow and even your dental health. Those suffering with dry mouth may experience a constant sore throat, a burning sensation in their throat, difficulty speaking or swallowing, hoarseness, a raw red tongue, bad breath and even dry nasal passages. Dry mouth occurs because of an inadequate flow of saliva. Your mouth uses saliva to wash food and debris away from your teeth and gums and provides disease fighting substances in your mouth. Without saliva, tooth decay can also occur. There are many causes of dry mouth including sugary or energy drinks, side effects from medications, tobacco use, or it could be the result of other medical conditions including diabetes, HIV/AIDs, Parkinsons, cancer or even a chronic autoimmune disorder called Sjgren's. The first line of defense in treating dry mouth are simple steps including drinking more water, sucking on sugar-free candy or chewing sugar-free gum, and trusting your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste to help stimulate the saliva flow. AYou can also purchase an over-the-counter artificial saliva substitute. If those treatments don't work talk with your doctor, he may adjust your existing medication or prescribe Salagen, a medication which will help your body to produce more saliva.