What Causes a Dry Throat?

A dry throat is a rough, raspy, and itchy feeling in your throat. It is usually caused by drying out of the mucus membrane and saliva.

Drying out of mucus membrane and saliva can be caused by exercise, sleeping with your mouth open, living in a dry environment, and not drinking enough fluids. On the other, marijuana and tobacco, voice strain, allergies and vomiting, throat inflammation, and cancer can also cause dry throat in rare cases. A dry throat can also be a symptom of other potential infections and disorders.

So, what are the most common causes of a dry throat?

Acid Reflux

Reflux of acid is the most prevalent cause of dry throat. Your stomach produces acid, which is usually neutralized in the small intestine. Prevention of the acid from flowing back is done by the valve on the lower part of the esophagus. However, organ malfunctioning can happen, and in this case, the valve does not close after food has passed through.

Acid Reflux with dry throat

Closure failure results in the movement of acid up to the esophagus.  Subsequently, the periods of reflux occur at night. Individuals who experience it develop a bitter test in the mouth, heartburn, and dry cough. Should the acid touch your vocal codes, your throat will be severely irritated, and it may lead to spasms of coughing. The complacency of the valve can be due to gastroesophageal reflux disease.


  • Treatment Measures

You can try out both medication and lifestyle changes.


Acid Reflux Medication

To counteract acid reflux, you have to use antacids to neutralize stomach acids and H2 inhibitors such as famotidine, minimizing stomach acid production. Additionally, you can use proton pump inhibitors to block the production of acids.

Lifestyle Changes

You should logically maintain a healthy weight as more weight exerts much pressure on your stomach, causing the valve to open. Furthermore, you should avoid foods that trigger heartburns. Smoking will also weaken the valve; thence, you should strive to avoid it.

Lifestyle Changes for Acid Reflux

Finally, if the acid has leaked into your esophagus, you should elevate your head while sleeping. That's a preventive measure against the movement of acid into your throat.



This is a severe yet malevolent disorder. It usually affects the back of the throat near the windpipe. The H influenza bacteria usually cause it. The disorder may abruptly present fever, painful and sore throat, difficulty in breathing, and malaise. This condition is life-threatening, but it can be treated.

  • Treatment of Epiglottitis

Once your doctors have diagnosed you with this dry throat condition, they will use an oximetry device to track your oxygen levels and protect your airways. You will also be given intravenous fluids for nutrition and hydration up to the time that you will be able to swallow again.

Since these disorders are bacterial, you will be given antibiotics to treat infections and anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce swelling.

Should your condition be severe, a minor surgical procedure on the tracheal rings can be performed.


Dehydration and dry throat

Having a dry throat can be due to less saliva to moisten your throat. In most cases, less saliva is an implication that you haven't had enough to drink, and your body is now going through a dehydration process. Dehydration is associated with fatigue, dizziness, dry mouth, aggravated thirst, and dark urine.

To get off a dry throat due to dehydration, you have to take in many fluids that will hydrate your body.

Strep Throat

Strep Throat

Bacteria cause this condition. If the bacteria are left untreated, it will trigger other body problems, such as rheumatic fever. This condition is prevalent among children, but it will not mean leaving out an adult. It usually presents itself with a painfully dry throat, hard swallowing, skin rash, flu, and swollen tonsils.

  • Treatment

Diagnosing strep throat requires no rocket science, and its treatment involves the use of penicillin and antibiotics that kill bacteria. You are required to follow the prescription as any alteration will lead to relapse. For pain-alleviation, you can use over the counter painkillers.



Tonsillitis is a result of inflammation of the tonsils. It presents itself with a sore throat, fever, enlarged tonsils, and large lymph nodes around the neck. A bacteria commonly cause it, or at times it can be a viral infection and is spread amongst people through the air. In light of this, the dry throat can be a result of tonsillitis.

  • How do You Treat Tonsillitis?

Treatment of tonsillitis depends on whether it's viral or bacterial if its viral victims will recuperate within a period of 12days. If it's bacterial, doctors will prescribe the required antibiotics for your treatment.

  • Up to you

It would help if you drank warm fluids like tea and broth to soothe your throat. Then you must ensure that your air is humidified as dry air may cause you more harm. To humidify your air, you have to buy a cool-mist humidifier.


Flu and dry throat

Flu is a respiratory disease caused by a virus, just like a cold. In comparison, flu symptoms are always severe. Along with a dry and sore throat, other symptoms you may encounter are fever, fatigue, diarrhea, and coughs. Flu is a severe medical condition and poses a life threat to children and the elderly, and the conditions further worsen in people who are immunocompromised.

Your dry throat, if caused by the flu and left untreated, may turn out to be the soft spot for the start of pneumonia, asthma, and bronchitis.

  • Treatment of Flu

Medically, antiviral drugs will be prescribed to you. However, it would be better for them to work if you start taking them 48 hours after the realization of your symptoms.

To alleviate your state while you are still under treatment, you should rest and gargle warm salt water, which will help reduce your throat's dryness.

Hay Fever or Allergies

Seasonal allergies or hay fever is caused by your immune system reaction against foreign allergens in your environment. Allergens include mold termites and pollen. When your immune is triggered, it produces histamines, which lead to symptoms like coughing, stuffy and running nose, sneezing, and itchy skin.

Hay Fever or Allergies

Congestion due to a stuffy nose will coerce you to breathe through your mouth, thus drying out your throat. Furthermore, when the postnasal drip goes down your throat, it will cause soreness.

  • Treatment

It would help if you avoided allergens that trigger an allergic reaction in your body. Staying indoors during an allergic season will also be helpful. If your allergy is already triggered, try out anti-histamines, decongestants allergy shots, and eye allergy drops. These drugs will help reduce the allergic blow and the feeling of discomfort.

Sleeping with Your Mouth Open

Have you ever woken up and found yourself with a dry mouth? Well, the problem is usually caused by sleeping with an open mouth. The entry of air into your mouth while asleep dries up your saliva, eventually leaving no throat lubrication. Sleeping with your mouth open will also cause bad breathing, snoring, and daytime sleepiness.

Sleeping with Your Mouth Open

What causes you to sleep with your mouth open?

It can result from Congestion or cold from chronic allergies, sleep apnea, or deviated septum, causing blockage of the nasal airways—eventually, your breathing shifts from nose to mouth to address the inhalation problem.

You may be like,

  • Treatment

Should you have a sinus or congestion problem, apply an adhesive strip at the bridge of your nose while asleep. It will help keep your nose open. Your doctors will recommend continuous positive airway pressure therapy to keep your airways open during the night for sleep apnea.



Infectious mononucleosis also referred to as glandular fever, is a viral disease that mostly affects young adults. It has no symptoms; however, it presents itself with a dry, itchy, and raspy throat in children. It's transmitted across individuals through saliva. Other symptoms will include fever, swollen lymph nodes at your neck and armpits, and swollen tonsils.

  • To Treat Mononucleosis, you Have to:

Give your body enough rest to rejuvenate your immune system. Since it's a viral infection, the use of antibiotics won’t help. All you need will be over the counter pain medication to relieve your dry throat. For pain, reduction sucks a lozenge and gargle with warm saltwater.

Verdict on Doctor Visitation

At times you can treat your condition with lifestyle changes and home treatment. However, this may fail to work, and if the dry throat worsens or takes more than a week to heal, you should see a doctor. They will work out a cure plan for you.

Additionally, you should see a doctor if you will be having a severe sore that makes swallowing difficult, shortness of breath, chest pains, and fevers exceeding temperatures of 38°C.

In conclusion, a dry throat can signify a serious health problem such as flu or cold. If you have this condition and usually sleep with your mouth closed, your body hydration levels are reasonably well. You should schedule a doctor's appointment for diagnosis and medical treatment plans.

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