Dry Mouth

Dry mouth, sometimes called “xerostomia” in medical terms, is a disorder characterized by a lack of saliva or a decrease in saliva flow. Because saliva plays such a vital part in digestion and oral health, the implications of xerostomia can be serious.

Within your mouth, three pairs of main salivary glands and hundreds of tiny salivary glands create about 2-4 quarts of saliva every 24 hours. Saliva, which is made up of 99 percent water and 1% electrolytes, enzymes, and proteins, washes over the teeth and soft tissues to clean and protect them from germs, tooth decay, and gum disease. Saliva also helps to keep the mouth lubricated and pleasant, making it easier for food to travel through the mouth for chewing, tasting, and swallowing.

Saliva deficiency makes simple oral functions more difficult and increases the number of germs in your mouth. Bad breath, dental decay, gum disease, and various oral illnesses are all caused by an increase in microorganisms.

Common Reasons That Can Lead To This Problem Are:

  • Dry Mouth
  • Medication
  • Cancer Treatment
  • Use Of Tobacco
  • Dehydration
  • Other Diseases

What Is The Treatment For Dry Mouth?

The best way to treat dry mouth is to figure out what’s causing it in the first place. If it occurs as a side effect of a certain prescription, your doctor may be able to prescribe an alternative. Dry mouth may respond to medicines that improve salivary flow in some circumstances. Artificial saliva can be used to keep the mouth moist and lubricated if natural saliva is not available. A prescription-strength fluoride gel may be recommended by the dentist as an extra layer of protection to prevent tooth decay. Patients can assist ease some of the effects of dry mouth by drinking more water and avoiding caffeine and alcohol-containing beverages. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking on a sugarless sweet might also assist in promoting saliva flow. It’s critical to see the dentist on a regular basis if you have a dry mouth.

Our Patients Are Our Biggest Fans!

What Our Patients Say About Us


Overall Rating, Based
on Reviews.

Dry mouth: How to keep your oral health flowing

Think of it as the key to keeping everything flowing in your mouth and digestive system. Saliva may be something we have always taken for granted, but a decrease in its production can have significant consequences.

At the office of Hawthorn Woods Family Dental Care, our holistic approach takes into consideration every aspect of your health. Our attentive, highly skilled staff delivers state-of-the-art care in a setting that provides our patients with maximum comfort.

Dry mouth, a lack of saliva also known as “xerostomia,” can make everyday oral functions like chewing, tasting, swallowing, and even speaking more difficult and cause germs to collect in your mouth — leading to bad breath, tooth decay, gum disease, and creating fertile conditions for numerous oral infections. It can result in a sticky or burning feeling in the mouth, sore throat, hoarseness or a roughness on the tongue.

Did you know that there are hundreds of salivary glands in your mouth working to produce about two to four pints of this precious liquid every day? And it’s not just water; your saliva also contains electrolytes, enzymes, and proteins, all mixing together to cleanse and protect your teeth and the surrounding soft tissue. What causes the drop in the amount of saliva we produce? There are a host of reasons, including our age (this condition is often seen in the elderly), side effects of medications we have taken, our use of tobacco, dehydration, disease, an injury or surgery, and treatments for cancer. 

Don’t let xerostomia cause you to lose the enjoyment you get from eating, or leave you at risk for developing myriad dental or digestive problems. Our staff at Hawthorn Woods Family Dental Care know the best approach is to be proactive about dry mouth. We’ll identify its underlying cause and provide the most up-to-date treatments to keep your good oral health flowing.