7 Reasons Why Your Throat Feels So Dry (2024)

Your throat, or pharynx, is a tube that carries air to your windpipe and larynx (known as the voice box). It also transports food to your esophagus, the hollow tube that runs from the throat to the stomach. When internal or external problems lower saliva production in your mouth and throat, your throat can become dry because there's not enough saliva to keep it moist.

With a dry throat, you might develop a series of symptoms, including sore throat, excessive thirst, hoarse voice, loss of taste, or difficulty chewing or swallowing food. Several underlying causes, like infections, smoking, or dehydration, can all cause a dry throat.

Viral infections such as the common cold and influenza (the flu) are common culprits of a dry throat. These viruses affect the upper respiratory tract, which makes up the throat, nose, sinuses, and voice box. These infections can cause symptoms like coughing, congestion, and breathing through your mouth—all of which can contribute to your throat becoming dry.


Dehydration occurs when your body does not have enough fluids and water to function efficiently.Sweating too much, not drinking enough water, having a fever, peeing too much, or experiencing diarrhea or vomiting can cause dehydration.

When you're dehydrated, your body doesn't have enough fluid to keep your mouth and throat hydrated and moist, which can cause a dry throat to develop.

Living in a dry climate can often contribute to a dry throat. Research has found that indoor environments with higher humidity levels are associated with a lower risk of dryness or irritation in the throat.

To ensure an optimal environment for the throat and to prevent dryness from occurring, try keeping a humidifier in your home and limit traveling to extremely hot and dry places.

Allergic Rhinitis

Allergies are an immune system reaction to certain substances. A specific type of allergy known as allergic rhinitis (hay fever) can cause a dry throat. Several things can trigger allergic rhinitis, including pollen, dust mites, mold, and pet dander. If you have allergic rhinitis—which affects up to 60 million Americans—you may develop symptoms like a runny nose, congestion, and a dry or itchy throat.

Overusing your vocal cords causes inflammation in the voice box, which may lead to a condition called acute (short-term) laryngitis. Laryngitis can dry out the throat and cause many other symptoms, such as a change in voice, loss of voice, throat discomfort or pain, and dry cough.


Studies have shown that the tobacco from cigarettes, vapes, or hookah can irritate the upper respiratory tract. Smoking can affect the tissues that line your throat and lungs, leading to symptoms like coughing and a dry throat.

Research suggests that more than 400 medications can cause dry throat as a side effect. Certain medications, such as medicines for depression and high blood pressure, can cause the salivary glands to produce less saliva.

If you receive a prescription medication for a health condition, ask your healthcare provider about any side effects to keep in mind before starting the treatment.

Is Dry Throat Hereditary?

Dry throat is not usually hereditary, as it is mainly caused by environmental, internal, or lifestyle factors. However, some hereditary health conditions may cause dry throat. For example, Sjögren's syndrome (SS) is a chronic autoimmune disorder that occurs when the immune system attacks the body's glands and affects how much moisture they can produce. These glands are located in the eyes, mouth, nose, and skin, among other body parts.

Genetic and environmental factors affect your likelihood of developing Sjögren's syndrome. That said, having a gene mutation that increases your risk of Sjögren's syndrome doesn't guarantee that you'll develop the condition.

Anyone can develop a dry throat, and chances are that you've probably experienced dryness in your throat at some point in your life. However, some people may have a higher risk of developing a dry throat than others. This includes people who:

  • Experience frequent viral infections
  • Have allergies
  • Smoke tobacco often
  • Breathe through their mouths
  • Take medications for underlying health conditions
  • Live with health conditions such as diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis
  • Work or live in dry climates

A Quick Review

Dry throat occurs when your salivary glands aren't producing enough saliva to keep your mouth and throat dry. Several underlying factors can cause a dry throat, such as infections, allergies, smoking, taking certain medications, and living in a dry area. As a result, you may experience symptoms like sore throat, loss of voice, extreme thirst, and trouble speaking or eating.

If your dry throat persists despite home remedies like staying hydrated or sucking on cough drops, talk to your healthcare provider about medical treatments and home remedies that can help improve symptoms.

7 Reasons Why Your Throat Feels So Dry (2024)


7 Reasons Why Your Throat Feels So Dry? ›

Various factors, including dehydration, allergies, smoking, and mouth breathing, can trigger a dry, scratchy, or parched-feeling throat. Depending on the cause, expert-recommended measures can treat a dry throat at home.

What causes a constant dry throat? ›

Various factors, including dehydration, allergies, smoking, and mouth breathing, can trigger a dry, scratchy, or parched-feeling throat. Depending on the cause, expert-recommended measures can treat a dry throat at home.

How to fix a dry throat? ›

Hydrating: Drinking plenty of water, juice, or lemon water to stay hydrated. Resting: Getting plenty of rest to allow the body to recover. Gargling: Gargling with plain or salt water may help soothe a dry, sore throat.

Why is my throat so dry even after drinking lots of water? ›

Why is my throat always dry? There are several reasons why your throat might feel dry, even after you drink water. Your throat can be dry due to conditions including allergies, the common cold, dehydration, tonsillitis, and sleep apnea. These root causes must be addressed to cure dry throat.

Is a dry throat a symptom of diabetes? ›

If you're having dry mouth problems, which are common in diabetics, but not exclusive to diabetics, you may notice that your mouth feels sticky. You might also have bad breath, whether you're aware of it or not. Mouth sores, cracked lips (especially at the corners) and dry throat may also occur.

Why is my mouth dry even though I drink a lot of water? ›

This means your salivary glands don't produce enough saliva — so your mouth still feels dry even when you stay hydrated. It's normal for your mouth to feel dry every now and then. Often, it's your body's way of telling you to drink more water. But if you have dry mouth all the time, you could have xerostomia.

Why does my throat feel tight and dry? ›

Summary. There are several potential causes of tightness in your throat, including allergic reactions, infections, thyroid disorders, vocal cord dysfunction, and acid reflux. The treatment options for throat tightness will depend on its cause. These can range from rest and over-the-counter medications to surgery.

What can I drink for a super dry throat? ›

Drinking honey water, lemon water, gargling with salt water, and steam inhalation are some of the home remedies for a dry throat. There are some herbal teas that you can use to manage dry throat. These include green tea, chamomile tea, peppermint tea, clove tea, and raspberry tea.

How long can a dry throat last? ›

A dry throat is often due to a head cold, dehydration, or sleeping with your mouth open. There are effective home treatments, but consider seeing a doctor if symptoms last longer than one week.

Is honey good for a dry throat? ›

Honey may help relieve symptoms of a sore throat. It has multiple therapeutic properties, including as an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory. The short answer is yes, honey can bring relief for your sore throat. Simply mix two tablespoons of honey with a warm glass of water or tea, and drink as needed.

What deficiency causes dry mouth? ›

Deficiencies in Vitamin A or riboflavin can also cause dry mouth. While both these conditions are rare, they are real and serious, and a medical professional should treat them. Read on to find out if you're experiencing the symptoms of dry mouth.

Is dry mouth a symptom of something serious? ›

Dry mouth can be due to certain health conditions, such as diabetes, stroke, a yeast infection in the mouth or Alzheimer's disease. Or dry mouth could be due to autoimmune diseases, such as Sjogren syndrome or HIV / AIDS . Snoring and mouth breathing. Snoring and breathing with the mouth open can lead to dry mouth.

Does water help a dry throat? ›

If dehydration is your problem, effective home remedies for dry throat might be as simple as finding ways to drink more water. To stimulate saliva production, considering chewing sugar-free gum or consuming dairy products. Helpful tip: According to Penn Medicine, there's no single right amount of water to drink.

What illness starts with a dry throat? ›

Some of the common causes of dry throat include:
  • Hay fever and other allergies.
  • Cold, flue and other viral infections.
  • Smoke and chemical irritants.
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Jun 25, 2024

What is diabetic tongue? ›

Diabetic tongue is another oral health problem that can cause a metallic taste in the mouth. This occurs when a combination of too much sugar in your saliva and a dry mouth triggers oral thrush. Thrush develops when a fungus that occurs naturally starts to grow out of control.

How to reverse dry mouth? ›

Whether your dry mouth symptoms are temporary or long lasting, there are some things that can help.
  1. Water. Sip water throughout the day.
  2. Humidifier. ...
  3. A Water Spray Bottle. ...
  4. Sugarless Candy, Lozenges or Gum. ...
  5. More Moisture at Mealtime. ...
  6. Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol. ...
  7. Alcohol-free Mouthwashes. ...
  8. Saliva Substitutes.

Why do I have a constant need to clear my dry throat? ›

The possible causes of chronic throat clearing are numerous and should be determined by a medical evaluation. These causes may include acid reflux irritation, post-nasal drip from allergies or sinusitis, the presence of vocal fold lesions, neurologic conditions such as tics, and side effects of certain medications.

Why is my throat scratchy but not sick? ›

Dry indoor air can make your throat feel rough and scratchy. Breathing through your mouth — often because of chronic nasal congestion — also can cause a dry, sore throat. Irritants. Outdoor air pollution and indoor pollution such as tobacco smoke or chemicals can cause a chronic sore throat.

Is dry throat a symptom of anxiety? ›

Yes, just as anxiety can cause dry mouth symptoms, it can also cause a dry throat. Since anxiety activates the stress response, and the stress response suspends digestion, including saliva, overly anxious behavior can cause both dry mouth and dry throat symptoms.

Why do I feel like something is stuck in my throat when I wake up? ›

It's also called 'globus sensation'. Globus is usually not a sign of anything serious. It can be caused by many things, such as an increased tension of muscles or irritation in the throat. Your throat can be irritated by, for example, reflux.

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